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New focus: Americas and Pacific Rim
Associated Press


SURFERS PARADISE, Australia -- Races in England and Germany will be out and one in South Korea will be added to a revamped CART schedule for 2004 if the sale of the Champ Car series is completed as expected.


Australian-born Kevin Kalkhoven, one of three CART team owners who formed the Open Wheel Racing Series consortium, told The Associated Press on Saturday that Seoul will be added to next year's schedule, one of 15 or 16 races to be held in 2004, down from 19 this season.


Open Wheel Racing is in the process of taking over the financially troubled Championship Auto Racing Teams which run the Champ Car series that includes Sunday's Gold Coast Indy.


In August, Indianapolis-based CART said in a statement that Open Wheel Racing offered about 50 cents a share -- or $7.4 million -- for all the outstanding stock.


CART, which said members of Open Wheel Racing already control almost 23 percent of its stock, reported in July that it did not have the money to ensure a 2004 season. The company lost $43.5 million in the first half of the season, according to a quarterly report.


Kalkhoven said Saturday the deal should be finalized by December, when shareholders are expected to approve the purchase, paving the way for the company to be de-listed from the New York Stock Exchange.


Kalkhoven's partners are fellow CART team owners Paul Gentilozzi of the United States and Gerry Forsythe of Canada, as well as Carl Russo of RuSPORT, which runs cars on the Toyota Atlantic circuit.


"Our focus is in the Americas, North and South, and the Pacific Rim,'' Kalkhoven said in pit lane outside the garage of his PK Racing Team. "Going to Europe into the heartland of Formula One is not the smartest thing we could do.


"We're going to take it steady. We're doing one more Pacific event, in Seoul. We've already got the government backing with all the assistance of the city of Seoul.''


Kalkhoven said there are no plans to go to Europe, where events were held in Brands Hatch, England on May 5 this year and the following weekend in Lausitz, Germany.


"We have not filed to FIA (motor racing's governing body) to do any races over there,'' he said.


Kalkhoven said South Korean officials are at this weekend's race to watch how the event is being organized.


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I hope it's a road course.:um:

And hopefully N. Korea hasn't invaded by then. =/
 
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