SANITY ?

All about the Champ Car World Series (CCWS)

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Things that make you go......huh??

Post by mlittle » Sat Jul 29, 2006 10:27 am

At the Panoz Motor Sports Group offices on the grounds of Road Atlanta, in Braselton, Ga., there are lots of visitors who come to look at the new ChampCar DP01 chassis.....who'd thought that Indy Racing League president Brian Barnhart would be one of 'em? According to multiple sources(as discussed over on ar1.com), Barnhart got the grand tour, looking at PMSG's wind tunnels, shaker and dyno rigs, and was shown the full-shown model of the DP01(rumor has it he spent about 90 minutes just examining the underside of the chassis alone........) :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

Even more shocking was this.....guess who gave Barnhart permission to visit? PMSG chairman Dr. Don Panoz? Nope. ALMS president Dr. Scott Atherton? No. PMSG officials? Wrong answer.

It was ChampCar Vice President of Technical Development Scot Elkins who gave PMSG permission to invite Barnhart. :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

My take..........given all this, chances are there won't be a merger for 2007; that doesn't mean they aren't still talking. Chances are, though, that, beginning in 2007, both the IRL and ChampCar may run common chassis, which could help bridge at least one gap currently blocking reunification.
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So what does the future hold?

Post by mlittle » Mon Oct 23, 2006 2:54 pm

In the most recent installment on the "A Brief History of the Split...." I mentioned that there several possibilities as to what the future of AOWR would be. Here are those possibilities...........

Scenario 1: The Doomsday Scenario. Essentially, for various reason, neither series survives over the next decade, leaving NA open-wheel racing in a literal black hole. As Racer and IndyCar Series magazine's Jeff Olsen put it succinctly,
If the sport is lucky, one series will collaspe before the other. If they disintegrate simultaneously, open-wheel racing risks becoming the black hole of US motorsports.
With no outlet at the top for talented lower-formula open-wheelers, their options would be bleak.....either head for Europe and find opportunities there, migrate to sportscar racing OR get used to racing in tintops. :shock: :shock: :shock:

Scenario 2: Merger! This is the most unlikeliest of scenarios for a simple reason; at the head of each series is a powerful person with their own vision for the sport(i.e. Kevin Kalkhoven and Tony George). Even though they've met several times over the past year, neither seems ready yet to commit to a merger. Questions as to equipment, venues and what direction the sport should go would have to be answered before a merger or reunification could happen.

Scenario 3: More of the Same. This is the most likely scenario, since both series have announced their 2007 schedules and merger talks have broken down for the time being. Even so, if, by happenstance, both series could find solid financial footing, the possibility does exist that both series could very well continue for the forseeable future. The way things have gone over the past decade this is the most likely of the three.
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What's wrong with riding the Indy Bandwagon, ChampCar?

Post by mlittle » Wed May 02, 2007 1:25 pm

To paraphrase that great American patriot, Paul Revere....................
Indy is coming! Indy is coming! Indy is coming!
Those words are generally enough to send everyone and their friends running to various autoracing websites, message boards, forums and other places to give their opinions on "the Greatest Spectacle in Racing" and all things related to it, especially with all the "what could've been" ideas of seeing ChampCar drivers like Sebastien Bourdais, Paul Tracy, Graham Rahal, Katherine Legge, etc., make the cross-town trip to 16th and Georgetown for the 91st Indianapolis 500......alas, that looks unlikely once again. :shock: :shock: :shock: :evil:

Case in point............all any of the IndyCar Series drivers could talk about at Kansas following the race was their momentum(or lack of... :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: ) going into the month of May.......and what could ChampCar drivers talk about?
.................................
You get the idea.

And to think, the ChampCar schedulemeisters had to move the Zhuhai, China race to October to supposedly make room for the teams to potentially go to the Brickyard. And if they're not making the trip to Indy, then what it does is cause ChampCar to vanish off the radar screens for seven weeks......What else is new? :shock: :shock: :shock: :evil:

It's one thing that the Great American Open-Wheel Split has continued for, what now, 12 years.....but for ChampCar to throw away(or in the words of Speed Channel's Robin Miller, "pooh-pooh") a golden opportunity to show up their Indy rivals is nothing short of criminal. Making things worse was the boneheaded remarks of ChampCar co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven, who said that they had made an offer to IRL founder Tony George.......give us free Dallara chassis, allow us to lease Honda engines at cut-rate prices and we'll bring our best drivers to the Brickyard Memorial Day Sunday. Tony George, to his credit, essentially refused their request. To quote paddocktalk.com's Anne Proffit,
Why should he? Why on earth should Tony give you engines when he doesn't give them to IRL competitors? And even if he does.....what business is it to you, Mr. Kalkhoven? Does this mean that Kevin can't afford to pony up about a quarter-million per Honda engine? Why should Tony George do him any favors anyway?
:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

For someone's who, you'd think, has been in business for a long time, Mr. Kalkhoven forgets a few things about Indy and the 500........
~~For most sponsors, it's the ONLY race they care about
~~It's the only race in either series that gets ratings above a 1.0(in fact, if you add the ratings from the first four IRL races and the first three ChampCar races, the combined rating wouldn't be HALF of what Indy was in 2006.)
~~For all the money Kalkhoven and Co. continue pumping into ChampCar, a 33rd-place finish would put that driver about halfway up the ChampCar purse ladder in an instant........
~~For all the bad talk that ChampCar fanatics throw at the Brickyard, the fact remains.....win the 500, and people will remember you forever; you think the average sports fan will remember Bourdais 20 yrs. from now?

In my opinion, there is simply no reason whatsoever ChampCar should turn away from competing in the Indy 500......if they think it ain't worth it, I have a suggestion......go pound sand; enjoy your seven-week sabbatical while the rest of us make the pilgrimage to 16th and Georgetown for "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing".......let me rephrase what I said before.........
If you thing going to the Brickyard is a waste of money, Mr. Kalkhoven........maybe you don't belong in NA motorsports. Period!
That's my say...................what's yours?
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Post by Julian Mayo » Wed May 02, 2007 2:59 pm

Another reason for the fans to go to nascar :evil:
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Post by mlittle » Wed May 02, 2007 3:19 pm

Julian Mayo wrote:Another reason for the fans to go to nascar :evil:
That and another reason for them to end the split.. :evil:
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Post by mlittle » Thu May 31, 2007 9:16 am

mlittle wrote:
Julian Mayo wrote:Another reason for the fans to go to nascar :evil:
That and another reason for them to end the split.. :evil:
Add one more.........all the single-car crashes in Sunday's 500, from that of Jon "Herbal Disaster" Herb to Milka "Airbags" Duno(who's team had to keep reminding her every couple of laps to pick up the pace..... :x :x ) to "Mad Dog" Marty Roth(all three of who managed to crash without help from anyone else....... :evil: ). All those crashes ruined the flow of the race and gave Mother Nature an excuse to call the proceedings....... :evil: :shock:
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Post by mlittle » Sat Jun 02, 2007 10:11 am

File this one under the :wtf: category........another embarrassment for Messers. Kalkhoven, Forsythe and Gentilozzi.......

ChampCar cancels Zhuhai, China race.......

According to multiple sources, the FIA has notified ChampCar officials that it cannot move the Zhuhai, China race to Oct. 28th this year*, effectively ending speculation on whether the event would be held this year....quoting from FIA president Max Mosely.......
The question of a Champ Car race in Zhuhai in October of 2007 is closed. There is no question of such a race taking place. We are looking forward to receiving an application from ACCUS for a Champ Car race in Zhuhai in May 2008.
*--technically, ChampCar didn't receive the notice directly from the FIA; the FIA sent their decision to ACCUS(Automobile Competition Committee of the United States) who thereupon notified ChampCar of the decision

ACCUS member organizations include...............
National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing(NASCAR)
Indy Racing League(IRL)
Champ Car World Series(CCWS)
International Motorsports Association(IMSA)
American LeMans Series(ALMS)
Grand American Rolex Series(Grand-Am)
Sports Car Club of America(SCCA)

Ostensibly, the reason cited by the FIA was that there were fears that having the ChampCar race in late October could adversely affect the Formula 1 race in Shanghai three weeks before(Mod's note....yeah, right! :evil: :evil: ...let me guess, Bernie Ecclestone got scared of something stealing F1's thunder, heh? )

Adding to the embarrassment is that the promoter of the Zhuhai, China race, upon hearing of the cancellation, almost promptly went to U.S. District Court in Indianapolis and has filed a lawsuit agst. ChampCar officials for the cancellation, asking for.........
--$1.6 million in lost fees paid to ChampCar
--$16 million in lost revenues to have been made from the race
(and that above was what was in the public record..... :shock: :shock:

All-in-all, this has the makings of a massive embarrassment to the series.....as one ar1.com writer posed on their site, "Get the Fat Lady ready for her singing engagement; CCWS is on the downhill slide. Death will be after the '08 season if not 07'. :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
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Is Forsythe playing with fire?

Post by mlittle » Thu Dec 13, 2007 10:34 am

Quick......name one person other than John Menard who has spent millions in NA open-wheel racing.........answer: Chicago, Illinois native Gerry Forsythe, who's been a scion of the sport since the 1980's.

Ever since losing Player's as a sponsor in 2003, Forsythe has literally spent millions out of his own pocket(estimates are around $125 million) fielding two cars with little or no outside sponsorship(that's on top of sharing the day-to-day costs of running ChampCar with Kevin Kakhoven and Paul Gentilozzi). In addition, Forsythe lost millions buying tons of CART stock(at the same time everyone else was selling theirs....... :? :shock: :shock: ) so its' a wonder he hasn't hit any reefs over the past few years........until now.

According to Speed Channel's Robin Miller and corroborated by both autoracing1.com and paddocktalk.com, Gerry Forsythe has given an ultimatum to driver Paul Tracy........either renegotiate your contract down from the $2.5 million yearly salary or else.

Why could this be the grounding that could ultimately spell ChampCar's end? Simple.....although Paul Tracy is, unfortunately(...... :( :shock: :shock: ) at 39, on the downward slope of a legendary career that has included} 1--31 wins, 2--15 brain fades that cost him wins, 3--several on-track contretemps, 4--miles and miles of passes, both brillant and boneheaded, 5--one championship and 6--17 years of brutally honest opinions.

Granted, "the Thrill from West Hill" hasn't thrilled many the past two years with only one win in 2006 and 2007, which was why everyone(myself included) thought it was very honorable of Forsythe to offer PT a 5-year contract so that he could finish his career in ChampCar.....a nice reward for being ChampCar's most loyal personality. Fast forward to Dec. 2007 and it looks as though Forsythe's either 1--lost his ------- mind(fill in the blanks..... :oops: :oops: ), 2--believes he can force PT to renegotiate(....... :evil: :evil: :evil: ........) or 3--he's decided to take ChampCar down the path of ritual seppaku(.......... :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: )......say what will you about Paul Tracy, he still packs the fans into the seats as every race, he drives 10/10th's every lap, takes chances the rest of us would blanche at and still, thankfully, speaks his mind.....

Only three scenarios can come out of this.................
1--Paul Tracy decides to bite the bullet and accepts a paycut(which could force other teams to decide to go 100% ride-buyer.....the reasoning being, if PT's contract isn't iron-clad, why should anyone else's be?)
2--PT leaves Forsythe and heads to Newman-Haas-Lanigan and partners up with Graham Rahal, or.....
3--PR leaves Forsythe AND leaves ChampCar for the IRL(now, imagine three Canadian races without Paul Tracy.......I can't! :shock: :shock: :evil: )

While scenarios 1 and 2 are the most likely, wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall at 16th and Georgetown and hear Tony George say, "Let's try to sign PT to an IndyCar Series contract." With the millions TG has, that's a distinct possibility; throw in the fact that, when PT races for then-Team Green in CART, Honda always had a great working relationship with Tracy and have been known to throw wads of money to teams to sign drivers......

All I know is this.........if Gerry Forsythe does what I suspect he might do and cuts Paul Tracy loose, this insanely stupid open-wheel split could be over, because if ChampCar's heart and soul goes over to the IRL, it would be game......set...........and match. :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:



That's my say................what's yours?
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More bad news for ChampCar.................

Post by mlittle » Sat Jan 19, 2008 10:27 am

Two more examples happened today are illustrating what is continuing to be a "what the **** are we thinking?" attitude seemingly prevalent in ChampCar.....

1--the resignation of ChampCar Race Director and Exec. VP-Operations Tony Cotman, and
2--the decision by 2007 Atlantic Championship winner Raphael Matos to forego the $2 million prize and potential ChampCar ride to drive for Andretti-Green Racing over in the IRL Indy Pro Series

Separately, these hurt........together, its' like getting one of Chuck "the Iceman" Liddell's signature roundhouse rights'.....hopefully, you won't remember how bad it hurt! :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

My take.....either ChampCar needs to take a serious look at their future, or as Speed's Robin Miller put it last year, "Sell the whole ---- thing to Tony George and get this split over with." :evil: :evil: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
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Re: More bad news for ChampCar.................

Post by GhoGho » Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:36 am

mlittle wrote: My take.....either ChampCar needs to take a serious look at their future, or as Speed's Robin Miller put it last year, "Sell the whole ---- thing to Tony George and get this split over with." :evil: :evil: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
I love this idea - I was quite a fan of indy car before the split, couldn't be bothered to watch after as it was all to confusing
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Has the Split finally come to an end?

Post by mlittle » Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:17 pm

According to sources over at autoracing1.com, ChampCar officials are in the process of filing for bankruptcy in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis Tuesday...............translation: The divisive split between CART/ChampCar and the IRL is potentially over.



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Re: Has the Split finally come to an end?

Post by GhoGho » Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:36 am

mlittle wrote:According to sources over at autoracing1.com, ChampCar officials are in the process of filing for bankruptcy in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis Tuesday...............translation: The divisive split between CART/ChampCar and the IRL is potentially over.



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Could soon be time for N American open wheel racing to become popular again :D
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Re: Has the Split finally come to an end?

Post by mlittle » Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:40 am

GhoGho wrote:
mlittle wrote:According to sources over at autoracing1.com, ChampCar officials are in the process of filing for bankruptcy in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis Tuesday...............translation: The divisive split between CART/ChampCar and the IRL is potentially over.



:horn: :flag: :bouncec: :bounce: :bouncest: :bouncey: :bounceg: :twinb: :tramp: :woohoo: :woohoo: :woohoo: :horn: :horn: :flag:
Could soon be time for N American open wheel racing to become popular again :D
:bouncest: :bounceg: :up: :wave:

All the signs are there, GhoGho...................
--over the weekend, several individuals(reports are that it was TG, Robert Clarke[HPD], KK and GF....... :shock: :shock: :shock: ) flew to Japan to talk with track officials at Twin Ring Motegi in an effort to convince them to move their race to another date to avoid a conflict w/Long Beach
--on an Indy news station, there was an interview w/Team Australia's Derrick Walker; in the background IIRC weren't his Aussie Vineyards-livieried Panoz ChampCars' but two Aussie Vineyards'-livieried Dallara IndyCars
--on top of that, Team Oz was the only ChampCar team not to participate in the ChampCar test at Sebring
--recently, TG made an offer to the ChampCar teams.........free Dallara IndyCars, free Honda Indy engines, unlimited testing time for 2008, etc., for any CC team that moved to the IRL in 2008
--rumors are rampant that ChampCar employees at their Indianapolis HQs' were told to clean out their desks and update their resumes; in addition, their new PR chief, former Target/Ganassi Racing PR official Pat Caporali, was told in no uncertain terms to try to get her old job back with the Chipster since there wouldn't be any PR work for her...... :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
--finally, there's already at least one lawsuit pending agst. ChampCar by a company, Dan Jones & Associates., for non-payment of funds; DJA was hired by CC last year to work on the fuel cells of the new Panoz DP01 racecar......apparently, ChampCar tried to "stiff" 'em on the bill........ :evil: :shock:


Bottom line.........most everything is pointing towards an end to the Split......but don't kid yourself, GhoGho, if you think the sport can grow its' popularity quickly once the Split is over.........the damage the past 12 years has done will take years to deal with. :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :(
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Post by GhoGho » Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:46 pm

IF all of this is true, and the split is over they can concentrate on promoting the sport instead of putting each other down. I realise that it will take time, but NA motor sports in general seem to be pretty healthy right now. Nascars popularity is huge and still seems to be growing, ALMS seems to be on a huge wave that just keeps getting bigger, NHRA drag racing is pulling crowds, so why not INDY?

I can always be hopeful can't I? :wink: :up:
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It's Over...........

Post by mlittle » Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:26 am

Multiple sources are reporting that sometime tomorrow afternoon, the divisive split between the Indy Racing League and the Champ Car World Series will end.


IRL, Champ Car to Merge
Champ Car, IndyCar Deal Done
Done Deal? Looks That Way!

The above sources are from WRTV in Indianapolis, SpeedTV.com and Trackside Online; according to most sources, several ChampCar teams(Newman-Haas-Lanigan, Forsythe/Pettit and PKV, among others) are in the process of receiving updated Dallara Indycars from Dallara's facilities in Italy; in addition, Honda has been asked by supply additional(i.e. a lot more......) H-17S Honda Indy V8 engines for the 2008 season......as more information comes my way, I'll report it as it arrives, but the main thrust of all the above is that, after 12+ years of a divisive split in American Open-Wheel Racing, there may finally be peace at hand.

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