Mexican open-wheel racing fans are among the most passionate on the planet and it appears that very few of them missed their chance to see the cars and stars of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford when the series invaded Mexico City last weekend.

The Mexican fans set a new all-time Champ Car attendance record last season when 351,972 of them visited the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez for the 2002 event, but this year's crowd for the Telmex-Gigante Presented by Banamex/Visa eclipsed last year's record by more than 50,000.

The three-day attendance for the CART Champ Car weekend was a staggering 402,413, with a massive crowd of 221,011 streaming through the gates on race day. Both figures set new series records and the three-day attendance mark is the largest for a road-racing event run in North America in 2003. The figure pushed the season-long attendance figure to 2,091,287, which marks the 11th consecutive season in which CART Champ Car has drawn over two million fans. With two races yet to run, the series is on track to surpass 2.4 million fans for the sixth consecutive season.

"We knew that interest would be piqued by the fact that six Mexican drivers were competing in the race," said series President and CEO Chris Pook. "But the fans responded even more enthusiastically than anyone could have expected and our drivers and teams gave them a great race to watch. The fact that we have drawn more than two million fans again this year shows our sponsors, promoters and teams that Champ Car racing continues to have great value."

Paul Tracy won the event for his seventh victory of the year while the Mexican crowds took the opportunity to cheer one of their own on the post-race podium as Mario Dominguez powered from 11th on the starting grid to finish third.



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