IMG Entertainment


For Immediate Release

Scott Houston           
Rogers & Cowan       


New Reality-Based Show to Create Rebirth of the American Daredevil

LOS ANGELES,CA October 1, 2003 – Davenport-Licata Entertainment and Peter Guber’s Mandalay Entertainment today announced their partnership in developing a new reality-based television show starring daredevil and World Speed Record Holder, Russ Wicks.

The show, titled “AMERICAN SPEEDFREAK,” will follow Wicks’ adventures as he participates in various world speed records. His next major speed objective: capture the World Water Speed Record, held by his rival, Australian Ken Warby. Wicks’ rivalry with Warby was detailed in a cover story in the March 2003 issue of WIRED magazine. Warby’s speed of 317.6 mph has stood for 25 years.    

“Wicks is the 21st Century American Speed King,” said Art Davie, Mandalay executive producer. “In AMERICAN SPEEDFREAK we have a show that explores a man driven to do the near impossible, the extreme dangers he faces, and the ways he overcomes them. It’s the kind of show that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats…and that’s good television.”

AMERICAN SPEEDFREAK will provide a unique behind-the-scenes insight into the state-of-the-art technology utilized by Wicks’ American Challenge team as he prepares to return the water speed record to the United States. The series will culminate with a grand finale featuring Wicks’ run for the World Water Speed Record.

“The American Challenge team is comprised of the best aerospace, hydro/fluid-dynamics, boat racing design and manufacturing expertise available anywhere in the world,” said Wicks. “Make no mistakes, this is an extremely dangerous undertaking, but I’m completely confident this will be a safe and successful attempt. I don’t anticipate any problems, unless, of course, I sneeze while traveling 400 mph.”

Already a World Speed Record holder, Wicks is listed in the Guinness Book of Records for breaking the 38-year-old Prop-Driven World Water Speed Record. He is one of only a handful of people to have traveled over 200 mph on both land and water.

AMERICAN SPEEDFREAK is positioned to be an innovative show with fast-paced, highly charged entertainment for the whole family. Each pre-recorded episode will include adventure and danger, health and fitness, space-age technology, teamwork at its best, and an all-American hero to cheer for. Executive Producers Michael Davenport, Art Davie, Frederico Lapenda, and Michael Licata believe the excitement and adrenaline of the show will position Wicks as one of the most recognizable personalities on the planet.

“Wicks’ courage, skill and dreams are inspirational,” said Davie. “He has the same unflinching drive as Great Britain’s legendary Donald Campbell, who was the last man to hold the world water and land speed records simultaneously.”

The producers plan on a fall 2004 debut for AMERICAN SPEEDFREAK.
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About Mandalay Entertainment
Peter Guber resigned as CEO of Sony Entertainment to form Mandalay Entertainment, a multimedia entertainment vehicle in motion pictures, television, sports entertainment and new media. Each of these enterprises has grown in effective portals in their various arenas via top-flight management infrastructures and assets. Mandalay’s next theatrical release, BEYOND BORDERS, starring Angelina Jolie and Clive Owen, will be in general release in October.

About Davenport-Licata Entertainment
Davenport-Licata Entertainment (DLE), led by Michael Davenport and Michael Licata, is dedicated to creating the best in film, television, and music. DLE has an extensive music industry background that encompasses performing, recording, and artist management. On the feature film side, DLE is currently working with mega-producer Howard Kazanjian (RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK/RETURN OF THE JEDI) as producers on three features in various stages of development.

About American Challenge, Inc.
American Challenge Inc. is a consortium of successful business leaders, innovative technical engineers, and strong-willed motor-sport professionals determined to return the World Water Speed Record to the United States. With Russ Wicks at the helm, American Challenge will reassert the U.S. as a world record contender and showcase our country's leadership in aerospace and high technology.

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