Yorkshires Darren Manning has, in his own words, "hit the big time" after news that he and Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon would become the first IRL IndyCar Series drivers to become a part of an American Breakfast institution and appear on boxes of Wheaties cereal.

Celebrating Dixon's 2003 Championship winning run for Chip Ganassi Racing and main sponsors Target, the cereal boxes will be available exclusively in Target stores nationwide beginning this week in the USA.

In addition, Dixon and Manning will be featured together on boxes of Cheerios and Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereals. The cereal boxes will also feature information on the IndyCar Series, along with additional photos of both Dixon and Manning on the back of the boxes.

The promotion, coordinated through the Indy Racing League marketing department and General Mills, features an IndyCar Series CD-ROM that has been inserted into the 800,000 packages of Wheaties, Cheerios and Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal.

The CD-ROM feature a demo version of the IndyCar Series video game for the PC and will provide a link to the Indy Racing League website providing greater exposure to the sport of IndyCar Series racing and the League's drivers.

Additionally, the cereal boxes will be displayed on end-caps (end of aisles) and on checkout displays, both prime shopping space.

"This is one example of the League's driver marketing initiatives to create fans for our drivers and our sport," said Bill Long, Indy Racing League vice president for marketing. "General Mills and Target were perfect promotional partners to feature the reigning 2003 IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi Racing and his teammate Darren Manning.

Dixon said he is excited to see his likeness grace the cover of cereal boxes.

"With all of the great athletes from various sports that have graced the cover of the Wheaties boxes over the years, it really is a nice honour to be among them," Dixon said. "It is pretty prestigious, and I think it's huge for Target Chip Ganassi Racing and the IndyCar Series as well. It helps introduce a whole new generation of fans to the sport we love. I've already got my whole family putting in orders for the three different cereal boxes but I'm having the hardest time getting Darren to sign a box for me. We are both getting a fair amount of teasing from our crew guys about how it is better to have us on a cereal box than on a milk carton, but I think they are just jealous."

Manning is also looking forward to having his face adorn the General Mills products.

"I knew that joining a first-class team like Target Chip Ganassi Racing was going to give me the chance of a lifetime but making it onto a cereal box, now I know I've hit the big time," Manning said. "Seriously, it's such a great opportunity for a guy like me, especially as a newcomer to the IndyCar series. It really is very exciting and it's going to be really cool to see my mug on the Target store shelves and know I will be buying quite a few boxes just based on the requests I am getting from friends back home in England. I think it's a nice way to reach out to new fans and celebrate Scott Dixon and the Target team's 2003 championship."

"We're thrilled to be partnering with Target Chip Ganassi Racing, the IRL and Codemasters to offer Target guests this exciting promotion," said Summer Chevalier, Promotions Manager for General Mills. "Auto racing continues to be a fan favourite, and General Mills is proud to be a part of it through some of the most popular brand names in the grocery store."