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Newman-Haas and the death of Champcar


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#51 Risil

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 20:43

Originally posted by pkenny

With the split one of them was always going to fall by the wayside. The Indy 500 is the only thing that resonates outside the true racing fans and hence it was always the trump card.


That statement made me wonder, about whether F1 would find itself in a similar scenario if Ferrari decided to break off from the rest. Certainly the threat of this played a huge role in the GPWC negotiations, and from that point of view the future of the A1GP series might be worth tracking.

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#52 Go_Scotty_Go!

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 21:08

Well - F1 powers have kept the series together through two "splits" - and for that F1 now reaps the rewards as the undisputed top series worldwide...

I used to be a fan of CART circa early 90s myself, but I now see the racing world through F1 and NASCAR googles.

I find it odd when people extole the Indy500 now a days - for me there is a triple crown in racing:

Monaco
Daytona
Lemans

I think it is really sad that diehards still consider the Indy 500 an important race. It's forever devalued, and the damage is permanent. What is next, destroy the Kentucky Derby?

#53 wj_gibson

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 21:08

Not really. CART's initial trump card was that it had the Ferraris of the IndyCar world aligned to it - Penske, Andretti, Ganassi, etc.

IRL's trump card was the Indy 500.

The Ferrari eventually went back to the Indy 500 fold.

F1 has the Monaco GP. It will still be the Monaco GP irrespective of whether Ferrari is there or not. A1GP has...er...Taupo?

#54 whitewaterMkII

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 21:38

Originally posted by scdecade
All of my interest has passed to F1. It really is a huge shame because I absolutely LIVED for the Indy 500. Since 1993 it's all been undone.

In my case, most of my time to watch racing has gone to NASCAR. I live in California, which has to have the worst F-1 viewing times, like 3AM in the morning most weeks.
As for living for the I500 in it's heyday, I used to get 6 week mail order subscriptions to the Indianapolis Star-News to get my Indy fix daily. I did that for about 15-20 years, which was the only way to get the daily happenings before Algore invented the i-net for me.

#55 Henri Greuter

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 11:46

Originally posted by Rob
I think a key moment was when Adrian Fernandez moved his team across. Several other teams had to move after that, citing sponsor demands.


That was merely the result of an earlier key moment.
Ganassi winning the 2000 Indy 500.

That was the moment when the momentum went into the favour of IRL surviving the odds after all and the starting point for CART to collapse. They were still pretty strong in 2000 but thereafter, once Ganassi had proven Tony George to be right: (Indy matters, nothing else) it was a done deal.


Henri

#56 Risil

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 16:57

Originally posted by wj_gibson
Not really. CART's initial trump card was that it had the Ferraris of the IndyCar world aligned to it - Penske, Andretti, Ganassi, etc.

IRL's trump card was the Indy 500.

The Ferrari eventually went back to the Indy 500 fold.

F1 has the Monaco GP. It will still be the Monaco GP irrespective of whether Ferrari is there or not. A1GP has...er...Taupo?


Certainly, but Ferrari is arguably the only feature of modern Formula One that rests in the consciousness of the public. Perhaps Monaco has an elevated status, but it's hardly synonymous with F1 like Ferrari is, or the Indy 500 with Indycar (!) racing. Once Champcar lost the 500, it was always going to be a no-name series in non-specialist eyes, and hence the sponsors' plans; its only short- or medium-term hope would have been the swift crushing of the IRL and a reuniting of the Indy 500 with the stronger series. Due to various mismanagements, this situation never came to pass.

As far as Ferrari are concerned, they are far more powerful and important outside of F1 than Penske, Andretti etc. were outside Champcar, just look at the almost extortionate lengths they push the FIA to, to keep them committed to the series. From the point of view of the sponsors and the public, Ferrari may well be F1's Indy, and as much as all non-Tifosi hate that, it's better than the kind of split that wrecked OW racing in America just a little.

#57 scdecade

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 17:17

Originally posted by whitewaterMkII

I live in California, which has to have the worst F-1 viewing times, like 3AM in the morning most weeks.


Tivo/DVR -- a must have for any F1 fan. Well worth the $$$.

#58 polymath

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 17:27

Originally posted by lustigson
I'd rather see Champ Car fail and the IRL get to the state of the old IndyCar Series left (1995-ish).


If the IRL could get to the 1995-ish level of CART I would be ecstatic, don't see it happening though but I would love to see that level of OWR in the US again.

#59 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 23:34

I saw the beginning of the end when they went public and hired that bonehead CEO (can't remember his name). Successful professional sports series (NFL, NBA, MLB, pro golf, etc, etc) are always privately held. My recollection is that a lot of the owners cashed out when the shares were floated, and therefore didn't have the financial stake to keep them around. I seem to recall a bad relationship with track owners as well, (perhaps the France family?), poor TV contracts, etc. A lack of recognizable drivers and "spec cars" didn't help either. And don't they have the silly red tires and the "push to pass" button, or is that the other guys?

Aside from that, open wheel racing, sadly, just can't compete for fans (and therefore sponsors) in America.

Jack