Initial public offering
Initial public offering or stock market launch is a type of public offering in which shares of a company are sold to institutional investors and also retail investors. Through this process, colloquially known as floating, or going public, a held company is transformed into a public company. Initial public offerings can be used: to raise new equity capital for the company concerned. After the IPO, shares traded in the open market are known as the free float. Stock exchanges stipulate a minimum free float both in absolute terms and as a proportion of the total share capital. Although IPO offers many benefits, there are significant costs involved, chiefly those associated with the process such as banking and legal fees, the ongoing requirement to disclose important and sometimes sensitive information. Details of the proposed offering are disclosed to potential purchasers in the form of a lengthy document known as a prospectus. Most companies undertake an IPO with the assistance of an investment banking firm acting in the capacity of an underwriter.
Underwriters provide several services, including help with assessing the value of shares and establishing a public market for shares. Alternative methods such as the Dutch auction have been explored and applied for several IPOs; the earliest form of a company which issued public shares was the case of the publicani during the Roman Republic. Like modern joint-stock companies, the publicani were legal bodies independent of their members whose ownership was divided into shares, or partes. There is evidence that these shares were sold to public investors and traded in a type of over-the-counter market in the Forum, near the Temple of Castor and Pollux; the shares quaestors. Mere evidence remains of the prices for which partes were sold, the nature of initial public offerings, or a description of stock market behavior. Publicani lost favor with the rise of the Empire. In the early modern period, the Dutch were financial innovators who helped lay the foundations of modern financial systems; the first modern IPO occurred in March 1602 when the Dutch East India Company offered shares of the company to the public in order to raise capital.
The Dutch East India Company became the first company in history to issue bonds and shares of stock to the general public. In other words, the VOC was the first publicly traded company, because it was the first company to be actually listed on an official stock exchange. While the Italian city-states produced the first transferable government bonds, they did not develop the other ingredient necessary to produce a fledged capital market: corporate shareholders; as Edward Stringham notes, "companies with transferable shares date back to classical Rome, but these were not enduring endeavors and no considerable secondary market existed."In the United States, the first IPO was the public offering of Bank of North America around 1783. When a company lists its securities on a public exchange, the money paid by the investing public for the newly-issued shares goes directly to the company as well as to any early private investors who opt to sell all or a portion of their holdings as part of the larger IPO.
An IPO, allows a company to tap into a wide pool of potential investors to provide itself with capital for future growth, repayment of debt, or working capital. A company selling common shares is never required to repay the capital to its public investors; those investors must endure the unpredictable nature of the open market to price and trade their shares. After the IPO, when shares are traded in the open market, money passes between public investors. For early private investors who choose to sell shares as part of the IPO process, the IPO represents an opportunity to monetize their investment. After the IPO, once shares are traded in the open market, investors holding large blocks of shares can either sell those shares piecemeal in the open market or sell a large block of shares directly to the public, at a fixed price, through a secondary market offering; this type of offering is not dilutive. Once a company is listed, it is able to issue additional common shares in a number of different ways, one of, the follow-on offering.
This method provides capital for various corporate purposes through the issuance of equity without incurring any debt. This ability to raise large amounts of capital from the marketplace is a key reason many companies seek to go public. An IPO accords several benefits to the private company: Enlarging and diversifying equity base Enabling cheaper access to capital Increasing exposure and public image Attracting and retaining better management and employees through liquid equity participation Facilitating acquisitions Creating multiple financing opportunities: equity, convertible debt, cheaper bank loans, etc. There are several disadvantages to completing an initial public offering: Significant legal, account
Formula Three called Formula 3 or F3, is a class of open-wheel formula racing. The various championships held in Europe, South America and Asia form an important step for many prospective Formula One drivers. Formula Three has traditionally been regarded as the first major stepping stone for F1 hopefuls – it is the first point in a driver's career at which most drivers in the series are aiming at professional careers in racing rather than being amateurs and enthusiasts. F3 is regarded as a key investment in a young driver's future career. Success in F3 can lead directly to a Formula 2 seat or a Formula One test or race seat. Formula Three evolved from postwar auto racing, with lightweight tube-frame chassis powered by 500 cc motorcycle engines; the 500 cc formula evolved in 1946 from low-cost "special" racing organised by enthusiasts in Bristol, just before the Second World War. The second post-war motor race in Britain was organised by the VSCC in July 1947 at RAF Gransden Lodge, 500cc cars being the only post-war class to run that day.
The race was a complete flop, as three of the seven entrants were non-starters, and, of the four runners, all but one were out of it in the first lap, leaving Eric Brandon in his Cooper Prototype trailing round to a virtual walk-over at the unimpressive speed of 55.79 mph, though his best lap was 65.38 mph. Cooper came to dominate the formula with mass-produced cars, the income this generated enabled the company to develop into the senior categories. Other notable marques included Kieft, JBS and Emeryson in England, Effyh and Scampolo in Europe. John Cooper, along with most other 500 builders, decided to place the engine in the middle of the car, driving the rear wheels; this was due to the practical limitations imposed by chain drive but it gave these cars exceptionally good handling characteristics which led to the mid-engined revolution in single-seater racing. The 500cc formula was the usual route into motor racing through the mid-1950s. Other notable 500 cc Formula 3 drivers include Stuart Lewis-Evans, Ivor Bueb, Jim Russell, Peter Collins, Don Parker, Ken Tyrrell, Bernie Ecclestone.
From a statistical point of view, Don Parker was the most successful F3 driver. Although coming to motor racing late in life, he won a total of 126 F3 races altogether, was described by Motor Sport magazine as "the most successful Formula 3 driver in history." Although Stirling Moss was a star by 1953, Parker beat him more than any other driver, was Formula 3 Champion in 1952, again in 1953, in 1954 he only lost the title by a half-point. He took the title for a third time in 1959. In 1954, Parker took on a young man named Norman Graham Hill as his mechanic and general assistant, gave him his first taste of competitive motorsport in a 500cc car at Brands Hatch; some years now using his middle name of Graham, this young man twice became Formula 1 World Champion. Parker retired from Formula Three after the 1959 season, chose not to move to Formula 2 or Formula 1 because of his age. However, he did race for one final season, representing Jaguar in the British Saloon Car Championships, winning at Oulton Park on June 6 in his XK150.
As a retirement gift in 1961, Jaguar's Lofty England presented him with a specially-designed 3.8 litre Jaguar Mark 2. It was claimed to be the fastest Mark 2 Jaguar had built, being tested at 140 mph on the newly opened M4 motorway in 1963. 500cc Formula Three declined at an international level during the late 1950s, although it continued at a national level into the early 60s, being eclipsed by Formula Junior for 1000 or 1100 cc cars. A one-litre Formula Three category for four-cylinder carburetted cars, with tuned production engines, was reintroduced in 1964 based on the Formula Junior rules and ran to 1970; these engines tended to rev highly and were popularly known as "screamers". The "screamer" years were dominated by Brabham and Tecno, with March beginning in 1970. Early one-litre F3 chassis tended to descend from Formula Junior designs but evolved. For 1971 new regulations allowing 1600 cc engines with a restricted air intake were introduced; the 1971–73 seasons were contested with these cars, as aerodynamics started to become important.
Two-litre engine rules were introduced for 1974, still with restricted air intakes. Today engine regulations remain unchanged in F3, a remarkable case of stability in racing regulations; as the likes of Lotus and Brabham faded from F3 to concentrate on Formula One, F3 constructors of the 1970s included Alpine, March, Modus, GRD, Ensign. By the start of the 1980s however, Formula Three had evolved well beyond its humble beginnings to something resembling the modern formula, it was seen as the main training ground for future Formula One drivers, many of them bypassing Formula Two to go straight into Grand Prix racing. The chassis became sophisticated, mirroring the more senior formulae – ground effects
Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is an English business magnate, investor and philanthropist. He founded the Virgin Group. Branson expressed his desire to become an entrepreneur at a young age, his first business venture, at the age of 16, was a magazine called Student. In 1970, he set up a mail-order record business, he opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records—later known as Virgin Megastores—in 1972. Branson's Virgin brand grew during the 1980s, as he set up Virgin Atlantic airline and expanded the Virgin Records music label. In 2004, he founded spaceflight corporation Virgin Galactic, based at Mojave Air and Space Port, noted for the SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane designed for space tourism. In March 2000, Branson was knighted at Buckingham Palace for "services to entrepreneurship". For his work in retail and transport, his taste for adventure, for his humanitarian work, he has become a prominent global figure. In 2007, he was placed in Time magazine's list of the 100 Most Influential People in The World.
In June 2018, Forbes listed Branson's estimated net worth at US$5.1 billion. Branson was born in Blackheath, the eldest of three children of Eve Branson, a former ballet dancer and air hostess, Edward James Branson, a barrister, he has two younger sisters. His grandfather, the Right Honourable Sir George Arthur Harwin Branson, was a judge of the High Court of Justice and a Privy Councillor. Branson was educated at Scaitcliffe School, a prep school in Surrey, before attending Cliff View House School in Sussex, his third great-grandfather, John Edward Branson, left England for India in 1793. On the show Finding Your Roots, Branson was shown to have 3.9% South Asian DNA through intermarriage. He attended an independent school in Buckinghamshire until the age of sixteen. Branson had poor academic performance. Branson's parents were supportive of his endeavours from an early age, his mother was an entrepreneur. In London, he started off squatting between 1967 and 1968. After failed attempts to grow and sell both Christmas trees and budgerigars, Branson launched his first successful business, a magazine named Student, in 1966.
The first issue of Student appeared in January 1968, a year Branson's net worth was estimated at £50,000. Branson started his record business from the church, he interviewed several prominent personalities of the late 1960s for the magazine including Mick Jagger and R. D. Laing. Branson advertised popular records in Student, it was an overnight success, his business sold records for less than the "High Street" outlets the chain W. H. Smith. Branson once said, "There is no point in starting your own business unless you do it out of a sense of frustration." At the time, many products were sold under restrictive marketing agreements that limited discounting, despite efforts in the 1950s and 1960s to limit so-called resale price maintenance. Branson started a record shop in Oxford Street in London. In 1971, he was questioned in connection with the selling of records, declared export stock; the matter was never brought before a court because Branson agreed to repay any unpaid VAT of 33% and a £70,000 fine.
His parents re-mortgaged the family home. Earning enough money from his record store, Branson in 1972 launched the record label Virgin Records with Nik Powell; the name "Virgin" was suggested by one of Branson's early employees because they were all new at business. Branson bought a country estate north of Oxford in which he installed a residential recording studio, The Manor Studio, he leased studio time to fledgling artists, including multi-instrumentalist Mike Oldfield, whose debut album Tubular Bells was the first release for Virgin Records and became a chart-topping best-seller. Virgin signed such controversial bands as the Sex Pistols, which other companies were reluctant to sign. Virgin Records would go on to sign other artists including the Rolling Stones, Peter Gabriel, XTC, Japan, UB40, Steve Winwood and Paula Abdul, to become the world's largest independent record label, it won praise for exposing the public to such obscure avant-garde music as Faust and Can. Virgin Records introduced Culture Club to the music world.
Branson's net worth was estimated at £5 million by 1979, a year Virgin Records went international. Branson's first successful entry into the airline industry was during a trip to Puerto Rico, his flight was cancelled, so he decided to charter his own plane the rest of the way and offer a ride to the rest of the stranded passengers for a small fee in order to cover the cost. In 1982, Virgin purchased the gay nightclub Heaven. In 1991, in a consortium with David Frost, Branson made an unsuccessful bid for three ITV franchisees under the CPV-TV name; the early 1980s saw his only attempt as a producer—on the novelty record "Baa, Black Sheep", by Singing Sheep in association with Doug McLean and Grace McDonald. The recording was a series of sheep baa-ing along to a drum-machine-produced track and reached number 42 in the UK charts in 1982. Branson formed Virgin Atlantic Airways and Virgin Cargo in 1984, he formed Virgin Holidays in 1985. In 1992, to keep his airline company afloat, Branson sold the Virgin label to EMI for £500
Ralt was a manufacturer of single-seater racing cars, founded by ex-Jack Brabham associate Ron Tauranac after he sold out his interest in Brabham to Bernie Ecclestone. Ron and his brother had built some specials in Australia in the 1950s under the Ralt name. Tauranac won the 1954 NSW Hillclimb Championship in the Ralt 500; as a constructor, Tauranac acquired a reputation for building safe, strong cars that were manufactured to high standards—he tended to invest his firm's profits in high-quality machine tools and Ralts acquired an enviable reputation as the best-built "customer" cars of their era. Built with the assistance of Tauranac's younger brother, Austin, in Australia; the Mk was powered by a 1,932cc pushrod Norton ES2. Tauranac made his own flywheel, connecting rods, cylinders; the Mk2 was a sports car built by and for Austin, with a Ford 10 engine, Standard 10 gearbox, Morris 8 rear axle. The Mk3 was purchased from the Hooper brothers. Tauranac designed a new chassis for it, the car was driven by Austin.
The Mk4 began as a special, using a de Dion rear suspension. The car took two years to develop in Tauranac’s spare time. After just two events, somebody insisted on buying it, so plans were made for a production run of five; the Mk5 was planned by Austin as a Peugeot-engined car, but abandoned so he could assist Tauranac with the production Mk 4s. Tauranac founded Ralt in 1974 and the first product was the RT1, a simple and versatile car used in Formula Two, Formula Three and Formula Atlantic racing between 1975 and 1978. In 1979, the RT2 was developed with three cars being built for the Toleman team. Three more cars were built for private owners, including one for the revival of the Can-Am series. For 1980 Toleman built its own car, the TG280, based somewhat on the RT2 design. Two of the original Toleman RT2s were raced in Can-Am, while the third ended up in South Africa, where copies called Lants were made. Related cars have appeared in hillclimb and sprint events in the UK as SPAs; the RT2 provided the basis for three cars in other categories: the RT3 in Formula Three, the RT4 in Formula Atlantic, the RT5 in Formula Super Vee.
The RT4 was the car of choice in Australian Formula 1 and Formula Mondial during the early to mid-1980s. Roberto Moreno drove an RT4 to win the Australian Grand Prix in 1981, 1983, the final AGP in 1984 before it became a round of the Formula One World Championship in 1985, while Alain Prost drove one to victory in the 1982 Australian Grand Prix. Other F1 drivers to drive a Ralt RT4 in Australia during this period included Jacques Laffite and Andrea de Cesaris, as well as World Champions Alan Jones, Nelson Piquet, Keke Rosberg and Niki Lauda; the RT4 powered by a 1.6 litre, 4 cyl Ford BDA engine which produced around 220 bhp saw John Bowe win the Australian Drivers' Championship in 1984 and 1985, while Australian Ralt importer Graham Watson used one to win the 1986 championship. In 1980, Honda asked John Judd's Engine Developments to develop an engine for Formula Two, which would be used by the works Ralt team. Tauranac had been associated with Honda through Brabham's introduction of the Japanese marque to F2 in the 1960s, while Jack Brabham had co-founded Engine Developments with Judd.
Between 1980 and 1984, Ralt's works F2 cars carried the RH6 designation: the RH6/80 and RH6/81 were developments of the RT2 theme, while the RH6/82, RH6/83 and RH6/84 were further developed around a new honeycomb tub. The cars proved successful, winning 20 championship races and the 1981, 1983 and 1984 championships with Geoff Lees, Jonathan Palmer and Mike Thackwell respectively. In 1985, Formula Two was replaced by the new Formula 3000 category. Ralt's first F3000 car was the RB20 a further development of the RH6/84 but fitted with a Cosworth DFV engine; the car won four races of the inaugural International F3000 Championship with Thackwell and John Nielsen. For 1986, the RT20 was developed - a cheaper, more economical car with a traditional aluminium tub, easier to maintain. Honda returned as the engine supplier for the works team; the works team won one race with Thackwell, while Pierluigi Martini and Luis Pérez-Sala won four races between them in customer cars entered by the Italian Pavesi Racing team.
The RT21 was a further development for 1987, again incorporating honeycomb elements in the monocoque. 1988 was to be Ralt's last year as an independent chassis supplier and team in F3000. The RT22 was its first carbon-fibre F3000 car, but with Lola and newcomers Reynard beginning to dominate the category, it achieved little success. In the autumn of 1988, Tauranac sold Ralt to the March Group; the Ralt name reappeared in F3000 in 1991, when the RT23 was manufactured under the March Group's auspices. Jean-Marc Gounon won at Pau in an RT23 entered by Mike Earle's 3001 International team, but otherwise the car was unsuccessful. An updated version, the RT24, was built by Nick Wirth's Simtek company for 1992, but soon after, Ralt withdrew from F3000 for good. Second-hand Ralt F3000 cars were used extensively in Australia's Formula Holden category from its introduction in 1989, fitted with the formula's 3.8-litre Holden V6 engine. Rohan Onslow won the 1989 Australian Drivers' Championship in
The Indianapolis 500-Mile Race is an automobile race held annually at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, United States, an enclave suburb of Indianapolis, Indiana. The event is held over Memorial Day weekend in late May, it is contested as part of the IndyCar Series, the top level of American Championship Car racing, an open-wheel open-cockpit formula colloquially known as "Indy Car Racing". The name of the race is shortened to Indy 500, the track itself is nicknamed "the Brickyard", as the racing surfacing was paved in brick in the fall of 1909; the event, billed as The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, is considered part of the Triple Crown of Motorsport, which comprises three of the most prestigious motorsports events in the world including the Monaco Grand Prix and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The official attendance is not disclosed by Speedway management, but the permanent seating capacity is upwards of 250,000, infield patrons raise the race-day attendance to 300,000; the inaugural race was won by Ray Harroun.
The event celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2011, the 100th running was held in 2016. Will Power is the current champion; the most successful drivers are A. J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr. and Rick Mears, each of whom have won the race four times. The active driver with the most victories is Hélio Castroneves, with three. Rick Mears holds the record for most career pole positions with six; the most successful car owner is Roger Penske, owner of Team Penske, which has 17 total wins and 17 poles. The event is steeped in tradition, in pre-race ceremonies, post-race celebrations, race procedure; the most noteworthy and most popular traditions are the 33-car field, the annual singing of "Back Home Again in Indiana," and the victory lane bottle of milk. The Indianapolis 500 is held annually at a 2.5-mile oval circuit. Technically, the track is a unique rounded-rectangle, with four distinct turns of identical dimensions, connected by four straightaways. Drivers race 200 laps, counter-clockwise around the circuit, for a distance of 500 miles.
Since its inception in 1911, the race has always been scheduled around Memorial Day. Since 1974, the race has been scheduled for the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend; the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend is considered one of the most important days on the motorsports calendar, as it is the day of the Indianapolis 500, Coca-Cola 600, the Monaco Grand Prix. Practice and time trials are held in the two weeks leading up to the race, while other preliminary testing is held as early as April. Traditionally, the field consists of 33 starters, aligned in a starting grid of eleven rows of three cars apiece; the event is contested by "Indy cars", a formula of professional-level, single-seat, open cockpit, open-wheel, purpose-built race cars. As of 2018, all entrants utilize 2.2 L V6, twin-turbocharged engines, tuned to produce a range of 550–700 horsepower. Chevrolet and Honda are the current engine manufacturers involved in the sport. Dallara is at present the sole chassis supplier to the series. Firestone, which has a deep history in the sport, dating back to the first 500, is the exclusive tire provider.
The race is the most prestigious event of the IndyCar calendar, one of the oldest and most important automobile races. It has been avouched to be the largest single-day sporting event in the entire world; the Indianapolis Motor Speedway itself is regarded as the world's largest sporting facility in terms of capacity. The total purse exceeded $13 million in 2011, with over $2.5 million awarded to the winner, making it one of the richest cash prize funds in sports. Similar to NASCAR's Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500 is held early in the IndyCar Series season; that is unique to most sports where major events are at the end of the respective season. The Indy 500 is the sixth event of the 17-race IndyCar schedule. From the 1970s to the 1990s, Indianapolis was the second or third race of the season, as late as the 1950s, it was sometimes the first championship event of the year. Due to the high prestige of the Indianapolis 500—rivaling or surpassing the season championship—it is not uncommon for some teams and drivers to concentrate on preparation for the 500 during the early part of the season, not focus on the championship battle until after Indy.
The traditional 33-car starting field at Indianapolis is larger than the fields at the other IndyCar races. The field at Indy consists of all of the full-time IndyCar Series entries, along with 10–15 part-time or "Indy-only" entries; the "Indy-only" entries popularly called "One-Offs", may be an extra car added to an existing full-time team, or a part-time team altogether that does not enter any of the other races. The "Indy-only" drivers may come from a wide range of pedigrees, but are experienced Indy car drivers that either lack a full-time ride, are former full-time drivers that have elected to drop down to part-time status, or occasional one-off drivers from other racing disciplines, it is not uncommon for some drivers, to quit full-time driving during the season, but race at Indy singly for numerous years afterwards before entering full retirement. Due to safety issues such as aquaplaning, the race is not held in wet conditions. In the event of a rain delay, the race will be postponed until rain showers cease, the track is sufficiently dried.
If rain falls during the race, officials can end the race and declare the results official if more than half of the scheduled distance (i.e. 101 lap
Champ Car was the trade name for Open Wheel Racing Series Inc. a sanctioning body for American open-wheel car racing that operated from 2003 to 2008. It was the successor to Championship Auto Racing Teams, founded in 1979 by United States Auto Club Championship Division team owners who disagreed with the direction and leadership of USAC, with the then-novel idea of car owners sanctioning and promoting their own series collectively instead of relying on a neutral body to do so. Starting in 1979, CART sanctioned the Indy Car World Series, which through the 1980s evolved into the pre-eminent open-wheel auto racing series in North America, featuring street circuits, road courses, oval track racing. CART drivers continued to compete at the USAC-sanctioned Indianapolis 500; as the series prospered, concerns about costs and revenue sharing began to create opposition to CART's organizational structure. Attempts at reform, which saw the company rebranded as IndyCar in 1992 and a compromise board formed, failed.
In 1996, an open wheel "split" saw the newly created Indy Racing League take full control over the Indianapolis 500 and start a competing oval-based open-wheel series. CART ceased using the IndyCar name but continued its series without participating in the Indianapolis 500; the "split" saw a dramatic fall in sponsorship and general interest for open wheel racing, compounded by the growing popularity of NASCAR. After a series of setbacks in the early 2000s saw the departure of major racing teams and engine manufacturers to the IRL, CART went bankrupt at the end of the 2003 season. A trio of team owners acquired the assets of the series renamed it the Champ Car World Series. Continuing financial difficulties caused Champ Car to file for bankruptcy before its planned 2008 season. Champ Cars were open-wheel racing cars, with mid-mounted engines. Champ cars had sculpted undersides to create prominent wings to create downforce; the cars would use different aerodynamic kits depending on whether they were racing on an oval or a road-course.
Teams purchased chassis constructed by independent suppliers such as Lola, Swift and March, with some owners, such as Dan Gurney and Roger Penske, constructing their own. The series used Goodyear tires until 1995, when Firestone entered, creating a spirited competition between the brands. Firestone became the exclusive supplier in 2000, with their parent company Bridgestone taking over the role in 2003 and maintained it until 2007. Champ Cars used turbocharged engines. Cosworth and Buick engines were common until the mid-1990s, which saw Mercedes-Benz take over as Ilmor's branding and Honda and Toyota enter factory efforts; until 2003 engines were leased from manufacturers, who conducted research and development during the racing season. The exclusive availability of more advanced versions of engines to certain teams in the early-1990s became a major source of contention within the organization, manufacturers fiercely resisted proposals to have engines be purchased by teams. Starting in 2003, after the withdrawal of Honda and Toyota, Champ Car purchased a series of identical engines from Cosworth and leased them to teams under Ford branding.
In 2007, Champ Car was a "spec" series, with all teams running a Panoz DP01 chassis and a Cosworth engine. Champ Cars were visually similar, compared to, Formula 1 cars, which featured wings, mid-engines, an open-wheel design. Due to their use on ovals, Champ Cars weighed more and were more substantial in size, but had more powerful engines. Both series tended to downplay comparisons for commercial reasons, but 2002 saw a rare occurrence in both series running the same track within a month of each other. Juan Pablo Montoya won the pole position for the Formula One race with a lap time of 1'12.836, with the slowest being Alex Yoong's 1'17.34. In 1905 the AAA established a national driving championship and became the first sanctioning body for auto racing in the United States; the AAA ceased sanctioning auto racing in the general outrage over motor racing safety that followed the 1955 Le Mans disaster. In response, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Tony Hulman formed the United States Auto Club to take over the sanctioning of what was called "championship" auto racing, or open wheel racing, whose biggest event was the annual Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
USAC sanctioned the championship until 1978. A group of activist car owners coalesced around Dan Gurney who had grown disenchanted with what they saw as an amateur, hobby organization sanctioning their events and not properly promoting them or compensating teams. Notable incidents included the loss of a lucrative sponsorship by Marlboro in 1971 after USAC failed to enforce the brand's exclusivity at events and purses that teams said would result in a loss in money if the team was successful. In early 1978, Gurney wrote what came to be known as the "Gurney White Paper", the blueprint for an organization called Championship Auto Racing Teams. Gurney took his inspiration from the improvements Bernie Ecclestone had forced on Formula One with his creation of the Formula One Constructors Association; the White Paper called for the owners to form CART as an
The Dodge Stratus is a mid-size car, introduced by Dodge in February 1995, was based on the 4-door sedan Chrysler JA platform. The Stratus, Plymouth Breeze, Chrysler Cirrus were all on Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 1996 and 1997, it received critical acclaim at launch. An updated version of the Stratus was introduced for 2001, with the Cirrus being renamed as the Chrysler Sebring, a coupé model was added to the range. However, production ended at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in early 2006 which had built 1,308,123 Stratus and Sebrings since 2000; the Dodge Avenger replaced the Stratus nameplate in early 2007 for the 2008 model year. After the discontinuation of the Stratus sedan in 2006, the assembly line and tooling were sold to the Russian concern, GAZ, which manufactured 9,000 examples of a slightly modified Stratus from 2008 through 2010 called the Volga Siber; the Dodge Stratus was the middle entry of the Chrysler JA platform. The three cars differed only in the front fascia, rear bumper and wheels.
The interiors had little variation between the three models. The Stratus directly replaced the high-volume Spirit In Mexico, since 1996 to 2000 the Stratus R/T came in a turbocharged version; the Stratus R/T's turbocharged EDZ 2.4L engine went through some improvements in 1996 when power was increased to 168 hp's @2,200. All 2.4L turbo engines was only for the Mexican market. The car competed in the Swedish Touring Car Championship under the name Chrysler Stratus. In 2000, the Stratus became the last of the surviving Cloud Cars, with the Cirrus renamed as the Sebring, the Breeze discontinued; this generation of the Dodge Stratus was not sold in Canada, although 1999 was the last year for Dodge Stratus sales in Canada. 2002 models dropped the "DODGE" badges from the doors. The Stratus and Sebring sedans for the second generation used a revised version of the Chrysler JA platform named JR; the coupe models with the same names were different cars. During this time, sales declined as its ratings from consumer and auto magazines fell below average among mid-size cars, while the sedan market had shifted and pushed the larger Intrepid and Charger to record sales.
2004 brought styling revisions. The Stratus was discontinued in May 2006. In Mexico, the Stratus R/T came in a turbocharged version; the Stratus R/T's turbocharged 2.4 L engine went through some improvements in 2001, when power was increased to 215 hp. This improved engine would be used in the U. S. in the Dodge SRT-4 and PT Cruiser GT. Stratus R/T engines built from March 2004 and generated 225 hp at 5200 rpm and 235 lb⋅ft of torque at 4200 rpm. Stratus R/T models with the turbocharged engine could be recognized by a rear badge saying "Turbo". 2.4 L EDZ I4 2.4 L EDV/EDT I4 2.7 L EER V6 For 2001, Dodge introduced the Stratus coupe, replacing the discontinued Avenger. This model along with the Chrysler Sebring coupe was built at the former Diamond Star Motors plant by Mitsubishi, using the ST-22 platform. Like its Chrysler counterpart, the coupe models shared little other than the name and a few exterior styling cues with sedan and convertible models; the Stratus coupe was restyled for the 2003 model year.
The coupe was discontinued after one year before the sedan. The next midsize Dodge, the Avenger, did not include a coupe version. 2.4 L 4G64 I4 3.0 L 6G72 V6 The first generation Dodge Stratus received a "Poor" rating in the IIHS frontal crash test. It was a Chrysler Cirrus, tested, but the results apply to the Stratus, the Plymouth Breeze; the second generation Stratus and its twin, the Chrysler Sebring, received an overall "Acceptable" rating in the IIHS frontal test due to a possible injury to the right leg. On the side test, the Stratus receives a "Poor" rating without optional side airbags due to a serious neck injury, a weak side structure, possible rib fractures, high forces on the shoulder and pelvis, its seats and head restraints earn an overall "Acceptable" rating from the IIHS. The license and production facilities for the second generation Dodge Stratus and Chrysler Sebring sedans were sold in April 2006 to Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, owner the GAZ company in Nizhny Novgorod, which builds the Volga automobile.
The models were built by GAZ in Russia from late 2007 through 2010 as the Volga Siber at a price of US$151 million. The production facilities are planned to build up to 65,000 cars of both models yearly. Four-cylinder engines were to be purchased from Chrysler and made in Mexico