SANITY ?

All about the Champ Car World Series (CCWS)

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Post by mlittle » Sun Apr 09, 2006 8:16 am

Seen and heard in Long Beach........Chip Ganassi, one of the IRL's major team owners, was quoted on the record as saying that "if there is not a merger between the two series he would leave open-wheel racing" Adding to that sentiment was Bobby Rahal, who's in Long Beach to watch son Graham compete in the Atlantics' race Sunday, effectively said the same thing as well.


Interpretation: Messrs. George and Kalkhoven}If you want to keep both of us around, get a merger competed between the two series. Period. :threat:
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Merger Rumors

Post by mlittle » Fri Apr 28, 2006 9:23 am

According to mulitple sources, there are some common threads coming together for a possible merger btwn. the Champ Car World Series and the Indy Racing League............

1}There will be a merger of the two series; the tentative date for any announcement is currently Carb Day(Friday, May 26)

2}Ford-Cosworth and Honda will provide 2.65L turbo engines with both common ECU's(series provided ECU's) and equivalent horsepower/torque curves(similar to what is done in the Rolex Sports Car Series at present)

3}Dallara will provide a 2007-spec chassis to challenge the incoming Panoz DP01 chassis

4}The schedule is tentatively set to be in the 21-22 race schedule(look at the schedule I posted in my commentary Why A Merger? for an example).......

The revised schedule, according to all known sources, could look like......
Rd. 1}St. Petersburg, Fla.(IRL street race)
Rd. 2}Phoenix(either street race or oval race)
Rd. 3}Mexico City(CCWS road course)
Rd. 4}either Beijing, China OR Otaru, Japan(street race)
Rd. 5}Long Beach(CCWS street race)
Rd. 6}Indianapolis(the 500)
Rd. 7}Milwaukee(the traditional first post-Indy 500 race)
Rd. 8}Kansas(IRL oval race/night race)
Rd. 9}Kentucky(IRL oval race/night race)
Rd. 10}Cleveland-Burke Lakefront Apt.(CCWS temp. street race/night race)
Rd. 11}Edmonton(CCWS temp. street race)
Rd. 12}Toronto(Canada's version of Long Beach)
Rd. 13}Montreal(the other date at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve)
Rd. 14}San Jose(CCWS street race)
Rd. 15}Watkins Glen(IRL road course--the long course)
Rd. 16}Road America(CCWS road course--America's Spa)
Rd. 17}Motegi, Japan(IRL oval race)
Rd. 18}Surfers Paradise(CCWS street race--the best street circuit outside of NA)
Rd. 19}Chicagoland(IRL oval race)
Rd. 20}Houston(CCWS temp. street race/night race)
Rd. 21}Fontana(allows the schedule to start AND end w/in the United States!)

Whether all this pans out........who knows; let's just hope there is a merger.
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More merger talks......

Post by mlittle » Fri May 12, 2006 2:55 pm

According to autoracing1.com, IRL founder Tony George and ChampCar series co-owner Kevin kalkhoven were seen inside the "pagoda" at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.....the general assumption is that the two were discussing issues related to a possible IRL/CCWS merger. Sources close to ar1.com report that Kalkhoven will stay in Indy Friday to talk w/George and will not travel to Houston until Saturday morning. The same source also told ar1.com that, although neither side believes a merger is imminent, they did say that, if(and I emphazise, IF), both sides can finish all the current "due diligence" work their staffs are in the midst of, a merger could come about "very quickly".
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What is going on?

Post by mlittle » Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:19 am

Now that both the Indy Racing League and Champ Car World Series head into the bulk of their respective schedules, it's interesting to wonder what has been going on............most of the talk btwn. the two this past month centered on the racing(a/k/a the Indianapolis 500) and not on any proposed merger btwn. the two rival series. Yet, if the AOWR rumormill is to be believed, both sides are still looking to merge(although if it is to be done by 2007, the time to start would be now......) and according to a recent article in the Montreal Gazette, there were two meetings this week btwn. some of the principles in NA motorsports, including George and Kalkhoven.

My take on this..........I'm starting to wonder what in the heck was Autoweek reporting early this year, especially when their article was very(and I mean, very) detailed as to merger specifics. What, indeed, IS going on in NA motorsports? :shock: :shock: :shock:
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Merger off for 2007........???

Post by mlittle » Thu Jun 08, 2006 8:41 am

In a recent autosport.com article, ChampCar series co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven was quoted as saying.....
This has been the problem since the news has gotten out that we were in talks with Tony George. Everyone has gotten impatient about when a merger might happen, and I understand that because everyone with a love for open-wheel racing realizes that combining forces is the way forward. However, it is important for everyone to know that we share that desire and that's precisely why we don't want this to be a rushed job. Our priority is to do it correctly, not to do it as quick as possible. The fact is, Tony and I have never put a timescale on a potential merger for that very reason. All this talk of timescales and deadlines have been pure media speculation, and certainly nothing that either side have put out there.
Translation.....let us get this done on our own schedule, in such a manner as to ensure that a merged "IndyCar World Series" will succeed long-term.

As to 2007.......
Champ Car has to keep going with our own plans for 2007. We expect to have the 2007 calendar out by August, and we will be reviewing all our options.
Translation.......Chances are, there will not be a merged series in 2007, but that all options are still in play for 2008. In addition, there is the possibility that ChampCar may open its' calendar in May, as CART did from 2000-2002, to allow any CCWS teams to compete at the Brickyard in the 91st running of the Indianapolis 500.
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Re: Merger off for 2007........???

Post by cmlean » Thu Jun 08, 2006 3:21 pm

mlittle wrote:Translation.......Chances are, there will not be a merged series in 2007, but that all options are still in play for 2008. In addition, there is the possibility that ChampCar may open its' calendar in May, as CART did from 2000-2002, to allow any CCWS teams to compete at the Brickyard in the 91st running of the Indianapolis 500.
Read "We will be struggling to get 33 cars onto the track for Indy next year as we did this year."

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Re: Merger off for 2007........???

Post by mlittle » Thu Jun 08, 2006 6:28 pm

cmlean wrote:
mlittle wrote:Translation.......Chances are, there will not be a merged series in 2007, but that all options are still in play for 2008. In addition, there is the possibility that ChampCar may open its' calendar in May, as CART did from 2000-2002, to allow any CCWS teams to compete at the Brickyard in the 91st running of the Indianapolis 500.
Read "We will be struggling to get 33 cars onto the track for Indy next year as we did this year."
They may indeed struggle as they did in 2006, but the one difference, cmlean, would be that at least TG wouldn't have to bankroll 12 of the entries using Hulman-George money to do so. :shock: :shock:
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Ownership-sharing agreement reached......??

Post by mlittle » Sun Jun 25, 2006 4:56 pm

According to autoracing1.com, there may(and I emphasise, may) be peace in the land of American Open-Wheel Racing.............Reports from both Richmond, Va. and Cleveland, Ohio are that IRL founder Tony George and ChampCar series co-owners Gerry Forsythe and Kevin Kalkhoven have signed an ownership-sharing agreement. While neither side confirmed such an agreement, sources close to both sides agreed with the ar1.com report. In short, the agreement does the following.....

1}Allows for a merger btwn. ChampCar and the IRL to occur, beginning in Nov. 2006 and continuing through 2007
2}Although both series will run separately in 2007, the agreement tentatively allows for open weekends so that teams from either series can run at the other's events
3}requires ChampCar to keep the month of May open so as to allow their teams to compete at Indy for the 91st running of the Indy 500
4}allows Dallara to "badge" the new Panoz DP01 until such time as they can build their own chassis

With this announcement......hopefully, their IS peace in the AOWR land......one can only hope. :light:
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Re: Ownership-sharing agreement reached......??

Post by mlittle » Thu Jun 29, 2006 2:29 pm

mlittle wrote:According to autoracing1.com, there may(and I emphasise, may) be peace in the land of American Open-Wheel Racing.............Reports from both Richmond, Va. and Cleveland, Ohio are that IRL founder Tony George and ChampCar series co-owners Gerry Forsythe and Kevin Kalkhoven have signed an ownership-sharing agreement. While neither side confirmed such an agreement, sources close to both sides agreed with the ar1.com report. In short, the agreement does the following.....

1}Allows for a merger btwn. ChampCar and the IRL to occur, beginning in Nov. 2006 and continuing through 2007
2}Although both series will run separately in 2007, the agreement tentatively allows for open weekends so that teams from either series can run at the other's events
3}requires ChampCar to keep the month of May open so as to allow their teams to compete at Indy for the 91st running of the Indy 500
4}allows Dallara to "badge" the new Panoz DP01 until such time as they can build their own chassis

With this announcement......hopefully, their IS peace in the AOWR land......one can only hope. :light:
You can disregard the above posting.......Tuesday, on WISH-TV(Ch. 13, Terre Haute, Ind.), IRL founder Tony George flatly refuted the reports coming from the Indianapolis Star that were widely reported(here, among others.....). What could the implications be for all sides.......Read the next posting. :?: :?:
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Post by Julian Mayo » Thu Jun 29, 2006 2:33 pm

Bugga :cry:
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What is going on in Indy?

Post by mlittle » Thu Jun 29, 2006 3:28 pm

When IRL founder Tony George went to WISH-TV to publicly refute/deny his remarks, as quoted over the weekend in the Indianapolis Star, it was as stunning a refutal of merger talks as I've heard in the past few years, and it got me to thinking, What is going in the Indianapolis these days? :?: :?: :?:

On the face of it, his refutal sounds as though it if he was saying, "any conversations I had with the Star's reporters(Curt Cavin and Steve Balaard) were off-the-record and not subject to official quoting, etc." If so, then what Messrs. Cavin and Ballard did by running the story in question was not only premature but unethical....very unethical, especially in regards to Cavin, who regularly speaks frankly with IRL officials, both on and off-duty. If this is the reason, then they have stepped into a major ethical minefield, maybe not to the degree that befall the New York Times w/Jayson Blair, USA Today w/Jack Kelley, or The New Republic w/Stephen Glass, but it is close.

Where there other options Mr. George could've taken? Of course; he could have denied the article's veracity, as his counterpart, ChampCar series co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven did following a Toronto Sun article of a similar nature last year. He could've asked for, and probably gotten, from the Star a chance to write an op/ed piece, giving his side of the Cavin/Ballard story. Yet.....he chose to go to a TV station to give his retraction/refutal; essentially "blowing off" the Star and forcing them into a very unenviable position.....if the Star retracts the story, it makes Cavin and Ballard out to be liars. If the Star doesn't, then it leaves the paper open to possible legal retribution by the IRL or by IMS.

Assuming that Messrs. Cavin and Ballard are upstanding members of the Fourth Estate, why then would Tony George go on television and retract whatever he said in their article? It is common knowledge that both Cavin and Ballard, respected auto racing writers, both support seeing a merger btwn. ChampCar and the IRL; thus, it would not make sense for them to outright "lie" about such an article as they wrote over the weekend. Also, it is interesting that Kalkhoven hasn't retracted anything he is attributed to have said in the Cavin/Ballard piece. Indeed, independent sources, such as the Montreal Gazette's David Stubbs, have confirmed to multiple outlets that Kalkhoven's opinion of the necessity of a merger hasn't changed(for the record.....Stubbs did an interview w/Kalkhoven in the Gazette back in Dec. 03', and it jibes with Kalkhoven's statements in the Cavin/Ballard piece.)

It thus stands to reason that any fabrication of the story came then from an IRL source(maybe George.....maybe not..... :shock: :shock: :shock: ) Most auto racing analysts/experts have concluded that, if there is an obstacle to any IRL/CCWS merger, that the obstacle is ownership. Conventional wisdom says that, in both series, but especially in the IRL, that there are factions opposed to any merger and that they will do just about anything to scuttle such a merger, even if it means putting words into the mouths of certain individuals.....like Mr. George. :shock: It is no secret that there are a few diehards in the IRL paddock(A.J. Foyt, Jr., Jon Barnes) who do not want a merger, while most of the big names(Roger Penske, Bobby Rahal, Chip Ganassi, etc.) want a merger. (note that the first group were original IRL owners, while the second group are the newer owners..... :shock: :shock: ). Imagine what their opposition would be like should, for instance, ChampCar opens their schedule and gives their teams a shot at the Brickyard? Some of those owners might face the prospect of seeing their drivers(Giaffone, Medieros, Gregoire, etc.) bumped from the field and replaced by Allmendinger, Legge, Tagliani, et al. :shock: :shock: :shock:

Another party that, secretly, could be opposed to a merger is Honda. Yes, you read that correctly....Honda, or to be more precise, Honda Performance Development(HPD). Now, to be fair to HPD, it is known that HPD boss Robert Clarke supports a merger....yet, HPD has publicly lobbied that, should a merger occur, that its' normally-aspirated engine be used rather than the Ford-Cosworth turbo. If that's true, then why in the heck would Clarke make two very public visits to the ChampCar paddock, in Las Vegas back in Sept. 2005, and Portland just a week or so ago? What was his purpose in going there, especially Portland? I mean, he goes there the 18th......the Star breaks their story the 25th, and George disavows it the 27th? :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: It personally is rather interesting to note that Mr. Kalkhoven has been silent the whole time, while Mr. George has been publicly disavowing his remarks.........are there some strings being pulled here, and, if so, why?

Which leads me to a more troubling point.......what does the future hold?? It is a known fact that, within the next 4-6 weeks, ChampCar will release its' 2007 schedule, their Panoz DP01 chassis will debut and that, independent of any merger, that there series will continue. In addition, reports are that the ChampCar series is talking to several teams about joining them in 2007(rumor has it that the leading candidate is Polestar Racing, as well as Sierra Sierra Mtrspts....) Fiscially, ChampCar is at or near their break-even point, pre-set via. the 2004 bankruptcy hearing. There is also talk of new sponsors and new promoters to help the series with specific events, particulary Milwaukee and Road America. Are there roadblocks ahead? Certainly; political problems threaten to scuttle Portland and San Jose, for instance; there's also the ongoing debate over whether there will be a street race in Phoenix, as well. In essence, Messrs. Kalkhoven and Forsythe know they have a product that can grow and prosper independent of the Indy Racing League, thus allowing them to act in their best interests regardless of what happens elsewhere?

Now, would the future be better if there was a merger? Of course; both sides have said so. But, in that same Gazette article, Kalkhoven added, "Sometimes things aren't in our control." It is therefore my belief that there is possibly an internal war going on within the Indy Racing League between the old guard owners(Foyt, Barnes, et. al), the series officials(George, Barnhart, etc.), the new guard owners(Penske, Rahal, et. al) and Honda over the direction the series should take.....should we merge with ChampCar, should we not, and so forth? I honestly believe that in retracting what he supposedly said to Cavin and Ballard, Tony George has set forth such a war, one which could have frankly, disasterous consequences for American open-wheel racing. I sincerely hope, for all AOWR fans, that this is NOT the case.


That's my say.........what's yours?
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Post by Julian Mayo » Thu Jun 29, 2006 3:49 pm

:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :axe: :bcomp: .....bugga :cry:
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Post by mlittle » Sat Jul 01, 2006 9:18 am

Julian Mayo wrote::shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :axe: :bcomp: .....bugga :cry:
Next time you get the axe out, can we put A.J. Foyt underneath it? :lol: :lol: :shock: :shock: 8)
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Post by Julian Mayo » Sat Jul 01, 2006 10:19 am

mlittle wrote:
Julian Mayo wrote::shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :axe: :bcomp: .....bugga :cry:
Next time you get the axe out, can we put A.J. Foyt underneath it? :lol: :lol: :shock: :shock: 8)

mmmmmmmmmm yes please !.......wait.......does that get me a free trip to "The Bay"? :shock:
The Mountain is a savage Mistress.

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Post by mlittle » Sat Jul 01, 2006 2:47 pm

Julian Mayo wrote:
mlittle wrote:
Julian Mayo wrote::shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :axe: :bcomp: .....bugga :cry:
Next time you get the axe out, can we put A.J. Foyt underneath it? :lol: :lol: :shock: :shock: 8)

mmmmmmmmmm yes please !.......wait.......does that get me a free trip to "The Bay"? :shock:
No....more like a round of applause from everyone in the IndyCar paddock!! :lol: :lol: 8) :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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