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Ford withdraws Champ Car sponsorship

DEARBORN, Mich. -- Ford Motor Company said Wednesday it has withdrawn as an official Champ Car World Series sponsor.

Ford had participated in Champ Car and its predecessor, CART, since re-entering open-wheel racing in 1992, first providing engines and then sponsorship.

"We evaluate all of our racing programs on an annual basis and have decided that this sponsorship does not align with our current business objectives," said Dan Davis, director of Ford Racing Technology.

Davis said Ford's withdrawal from Champ Car will not affect the other racing programs the company supports, including NASCAR's three major national touring series, the NHRA PowerAde Drag Racing Series, the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car and KONI Challenge Series, as well as several U.S. Auto Club-sanctioned series.

"We thank Ford for what it has done for the series," said series president Steve Johnson, "but we are continuing to build a bright future for the series and are exploring a number of other options for a manufacturer partner."

Champ Car currently uses engines made by Cosworth, once a Ford subsidiary but now owned by Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerald Forsythe, two of the four series co-owners.