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Finally, a CART / Indycar unification?


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#1301 ColdHeart

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 21:35

Originally posted by whitewaterMkII


The "irl'" way has been a dismal failure, on the scale of, or worse than CART/CCWS.


Except for the fact that they have successfully paid everyone who has ever sent them a bill and have avoided filing bankruptcy.

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#1302 Bob Riebe

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 21:44

Originally posted by whitewaterMkII


The "irl'" way has been a dismal failure, on the scale of, or worse than CART/CCWS.
I figure that KK will sell the LBGP rights to FTG before too long, pull up stakes and kill his team in a year or so. Same for Newman/Haas, that team won't outlive it's owners, each of who are doddering along with one foot in and one,foot out.
The only news we'll ever hear about the irl is whether they can get 33 cars in May or not.

I agree with whitewater, that the IRL has been a failure, the only thing that keeps any open wheel racing going, outside of sprints and super mods, is that Indy is still there.
Bob

#1303 McGuire

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 21:50

Originally posted by Bob Riebe

I agree with whitewater, that the IRL has been a failure, the only thing that keeps any open wheel racing going, outside of sprints and super mods, is that Indy is still there.
Bob


I've seen a lot of great racing in front of great crowds in the IRL.

#1304 red stick

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 22:55

Originally posted by Crazy Canuck

LOL...my bro and I do the same thing.....the Audi TDi's and Porsche GT's are tooo easy.

CC


I love the sound of the Audis, although I don't think an entire field of them would be much fun. But you always know when one is passing by.

#1305 Crazy Canuck

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 04:00

Originally posted by red stick


I love the sound of the Audis, although I don't think an entire field of them would be much fun. But you always know when one is passing by.


Indeed, and that is one of the many reasons prototype sportscar racing is the best, IMHO of course. No two sound the same...Audi, Judd, Porsche, Ford, Chevy, Ferrari...all different and all great.


CC

#1306 Melbourne Park

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 04:13

Originally posted by Crazy Canuck


Indeed, and that is one of the many reasons prototype sportscar racing is the best, IMHO of course. No two sound the same...Audi, Judd, Porsche, Ford, Chevy, Ferrari...all different and all great.

Makes sense.

#1307 whitewaterMkII

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 04:48

Originally posted by ColdHeart


Except for the fact that they have successfully paid everyone who has ever sent them a bill and have avoided filing bankruptcy.

Key fact.
FTG and his crowd pay, with the help of NASCAR bucks.
Tony Hulman counted his bucks, he didn't have to pay any out.
Once the irlistas can figure out how that's been a good thing, tell us all about how the 'irl' way is the future.
While the IMS uber alles crowd is on a roll here, maybe they can explain why they tore up IMS at a cost of millions, and they paid Bernie and the F1 circus millions more for nothing, while USOW sank further and further into the abyss, starving for the very millions that ims squandered in the stellar management exercise of introducing Formula One to the United States.


#1308 whitewaterMkII

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 05:01

Originally posted by McGuire


I've seen a lot of great racing in front of great crowds in the IRL.

Yup, Buddy Jobe did real well, so did Disney.

#1309 ColdHeart

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 05:25

Originally posted by whitewaterMkII

Key fact.
FTG and his crowd pay, with the help of NASCAR bucks.
Tony Hulman counted his bucks, he didn't have to pay any out.


Tony Hulman died in October of 1977, a few months after AJ Foyt won his 4th Indy.

Number one song that year was 'You Light up My Life' by Debby Boone.
'Annie Hall' won the Oscar for best picture.
'Roots' won a stack of Emmys.
Gerald Ford was completing his term as President.

Tony Hulman has been gone for a very long time.

#1310 ColdHeart

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 05:28

Originally posted by whitewaterMkII

Yup, Buddy Jobe did real well, so did Disney.


Buddy Jobe sold his track in Phoenix in July of 1997. Disney closed their track when the IRL would not agree to conduct races there in January.

#1311 kamix

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 05:52

I just hope Power lands a seat somewhere as he's impressed me far more so far than his countryman, Briscoe.

#1312 Locai

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 12:34

Originally posted by ColdHeart
Disney closed their track when the IRL would not agree to conduct races there in January.


I guess the Disney track isn't technically 'closed' since it's still there and being used for the "Richard Petty Driving Experience". I'm kind of surprised that some other series hasn't picked it up. But, if Disney is insistent on a January date then there really isn't any oval series running at that time of year.

#1313 shaggy

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 16:00

All kidding aside, what is the story with Long Beach ?
Do CC teams have to run ? What if they have no employees or drivers left ? Will it be an ALMS and Atlantics race then ?
I was going before, but now I am seriously having doubts about it.

shaggy

#1314 Frank Booth

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 16:05

Originally posted by ColdHeart


Tony Hulman died in October of 1977, a few months after AJ Foyt won his 4th Indy.

Number one song that year was 'You Light up My Life' by Debby Boone.
'Annie Hall' won the Oscar for best picture.
'Roots' won a stack of Emmys.
Gerald Ford was completing his term as President.

Tony Hulman has been gone for a very long time.


Ahh!! 1977 - I discovered a Playboy magazine in my dads office and thought it was gross, things have changed a lot since then.

#1315 Crazy Canuck

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 16:31

Originally posted by shaggy
All kidding aside, what is the story with Long Beach ?
Do CC teams have to run ? What if they have no employees or drivers left ? Will it be an ALMS and Atlantics race then ?
I was going before, but now I am seriously having doubts about it.

shaggy


I haven't heard/read anything yet but if I was a driver (thinking Paul T) I'd tell 'em to go fcuk themselves.

CC

#1316 Locai

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 17:05

Originally posted by shaggy
All kidding aside, what is the story with Long Beach ?
Do CC teams have to run ? What if they have no employees or drivers left ? Will it be an ALMS and Atlantics race then ?
I was going before, but now I am seriously having doubts about it.

shaggy


Originally posted by Crazy Canuck


I haven't heard/read anything yet but if I was a driver (thinking Paul T) I'd tell 'em to go fcuk themselves.

CC


Actually, it might be in Paul's best interest to show up and win the damn thing (or at least make the podium). By now, he can probably drive the circuit in his sleep. They probably won't have much more than 12 cars (if that) and I doubt that very many have put any kind of effort into getting ready for the race. It 'pays' full IndyCar points. Plus, the minor little thing about him still being under contract.

The winner of the LBGP will be tied for first place with the winner of the Motegi race. If the winner of the LBGP doesn't have a confirmed ride for the rest of the season then I would think that being tied for first place in the standings would greatly help them out with getting a ride with another team for the rest of the season. I would assume that goes for the rest of the top 5 or so at LB.

Then again, logic and reason left US OW racing a long, long time ago.

#1317 Crazy Canuck

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 17:25

Originally posted by Locai




Actually, it might be in Paul's best interest to show up and win the damn thing (or at least make the podium). By now, he can probably drive the circuit in his sleep. They probably won't have much more than 12 cars (if that) and I doubt that very many have put any kind of effort into getting ready for the race. It 'pays' full IndyCar points. Plus, the minor little thing about him still being under contract.

The winner of the LBGP will be tied for first place with the winner of the Motegi race. If the winner of the LBGP doesn't have a confirmed ride for the rest of the season then I would think that being tied for first place in the standings would greatly help them out with getting a ride with another team for the rest of the season. I would assume that goes for the rest of the top 5 or so at LB.

Then again, logic and reason left US OW racing a long, long time ago.


Good points.

Alternative would be to go to Motegi and beg.

#1318 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 17:31

Originally posted by Locai




Actually, it might be in Paul's best interest to show up and win the damn thing (or at least make the podium). By now, he can probably drive the circuit in his sleep. They probably won't have much more than 12 cars (if that) and I doubt that very many have put any kind of effort into getting ready for the race. It 'pays' full IndyCar points. Plus, the minor little thing about him still being under contract.

The winner of the LBGP will be tied for first place with the winner of the Motegi race. If the winner of the LBGP doesn't have a confirmed ride for the rest of the season then I would think that being tied for first place in the standings would greatly help them out with getting a ride with another team for the rest of the season. I would assume that goes for the rest of the top 5 or so at LB.

Then again, logic and reason left US OW racing a long, long time ago.


Motegi will be Round 3 of the IRL. Best case scenario that means a four way tie for the series lead assuming four winners at four races and some weird dnfs.

#1319 Bob Riebe

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 19:16

Originally posted by McGuire


I've seen a lot of great racing in front of great crowds in the IRL.

There is/ has been great racing in many series that died, or faded into obscurity.

What Mr. George proclaimed he was doing when he formed the IRL was NOT achieved, and the fact it is a spec. series on par with the also horribly faded SCCA classes, cannot mean it was anywhere near what logic would call a success.

It has Indy and Indy survives, but then I NEVER thought I would see the death of the Copper World Classic either.
Bob

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#1320 qwazy

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 19:16

Has anyone been keeping tabs on the work being done by the IRL and a design college to come up with the next evolution of an Indy car?

http://www.indycar.c...?story_id=10653


Interesting concepts in that picture but nothing I can see making it onto a grid, let alone a production line. Hopefully they can take the more radical concepts, tone 'em down and give us a really sexy lookin' machine.

#1321 Bob Riebe

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 19:19

Originally posted by whitewaterMkII


Tony Hulman counted his bucks, he didn't have to pay any out.

Tony Hulman was the one who brought road racing to Indy cars.

#1322 McGuire

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 19:35

The always-interesting Gordon Kirby weighs in...


http://www.gordonkir...t_is_no117.html



The Way It Is/ The importance of continuity and stability
by Gordon Kirby

I've written a considerable amount about how important the technical rules and new formula for 2011 are to the hoped-for revival of Indy car racing. But of course there's another, equally important element and that is the schedule and venues. In fact, some people will argue this factor is even more important than the technical formula.

To present the greatest challenge for the drivers and teams, a correct mix is required of ovals, road courses and street circuits. The proper combination of tracks and events also would provide the optimum blend of markets, audiences and demographics, and I'm one of many who believe that for ten or fifteen years CART had the right mixture of races--one-third ovals, one-third road courses, and one-third street circuits.

As CART discovered in the eighties and nineties, and Tony George and the IRL rediscovered in recent years, it's essential to Indy car racing's success to have as broad a mix of races as possible. Road courses and street circuits attract different, wider audiences than ovals and, as everyone knows, a properly-designed and operated street racing event provides the best setting for corporate hospitality, entertainment and sponsorship sales.

It's also true, as Mario Andretti has long maintained, that the more oval races on the schedule, the more costly the season. That's simply because big crashes are more frequent on ovals and more damaging to the equipment and sometimes to the driver, too.

Another point I agree with Mario about is that the perfect mix would include three 500-mile races on big speedways and a handful of other oval races on short, flat tracks--classic venues like Milwaukee and Phoenix. Since Daytona opened in 1959, history has proven repeatedly that high-banked ovals are too fast and too dangerous for Indy cars. These tracks were built for stock cars but even those beasts have reached the outer limits on high-banked tracks, witness the introduction of restrictor plates by NASCAR twenty years ago.


One of the biggest tests for the IRL this year will be to make the right decisions on which of this year's suspended Champ Car races can be revived as IRL races in 2009. Arguments can be made for each of Houston, Laguna Seca, Cleveland, St. Jovite, Toronto, Portland, Elkhart Lake and Mexico City to be added to this year's select three Champ Car races--Long Beach, Edmonton and Surfers Paradise--to make the cut. Yet some of these races may prove to be too weak or damaged to resurrect.

Personally, my ideal IRL schedule would include St. Petersburg, Long Beach, Motegi, Houston, Laguna Seca, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Michigan, Cleveland, St. Jovite, Toronto, Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio, Elkhart Lake, Portland, Phoenix, Mexico City and Surfers Paradise. The problem, as ever, isn't finding enough road courses or street circuits to put on successful races. It's finding the right kind of ovals for Indy cars to race on safely and effectively and produce real, money-making events.

Most important of all is settling on a solid schedule of races and then sticking with it. A stable schedule would allow each event to build continuity and date equity--all-important items in making any sporting event successful. Many people forget that NASCAR prepared for its recent boom by sticking to a darn near unchanged schedule and building its fans base and audience slowly, almost stealthily, over a quarter of a century through the seventies, eighties and nineties.

Meanwhile, each of IRL, CART and Champ Car struck a stark contrast with incredibly unstable, changing schedules. From 2000 through last year, CART/Champ Car burned through no fewer than twenty-three different venues while the IRL went through a dozen tracks. Depending on which ex-Champ Car races come back to life next year, as many as ten more venues could be added to this sad list of spurned tracks! Any racing series with such a disgusting record of contempt for the fans, as well the burned business bridges, deserves to fail.

This pathetic, recent history beggars belief and it bears running through the list of CART/Champ Car's lost races in chronological order from 2000. Here it is: Homestead, Rio de Janeiro, St. Louis, Nazareth, Detroit, Houston 1, Michigan, Motegi, Brands Hatch, the Lausitzring, Miami (street circuit), Mid-Ohio, Chicago, Rockingham (UK), California Speedway, Vancouver, Laguna Seca, Las Vegas Speedway, Monterrey, Denver, Montreal, Las Vegas (street circuit), and San Jose. And in danger of not being revived in 2009 are Laguna Seca, Portland, Elkhart Lake, St. Jovite, Mexico City, Zolder and Assen.

For its part, the IRL tried racing at the following tracks but after a few years were told 'Sayonara' by the promoters: Orlando, New Hampshire, Las Vegas Speedway, Phoenix, Charlotte, Dover, Atlanta, Pike's Peak, St Louis, Nazareth, California Speedway and Michigan. Some of these--New Hampshire, Las Vegas, St. Louis, Nazareth, California and Michigan Speedways--were CART cast-offs that struggled for a few years as IRL races. Also among these are Homestead which continues on the IRL schedule and Detroit which was revived last year by Roger Penske.

The fall-out from all this chopping and changing is that few people--fans, promoters, sponsors and media--have any faith or belief in Indy car racing. So whatever decisions the IRL makes about its 2009 schedule, it must then demonstrate its commitment to stability and continuity. The schedule needs to remain firmly committed for many years because that's the only way to build equity in each market and rebuild the fan and media following locally, nationally and around the world.

#1323 Dmitriy_Guller

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 22:32

I agree with him that Indycars do not belong on highly banked tracks, and that includes the cookie cutter 1.5 milers. It's not only an issue of safety, but also an issue of them being too much track for the cars. As a result, those cars are too easy or too dangerous to drive on those tracks, depending on the poison you pick.

#1324 Bob Riebe

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 23:17

Originally posted by Dmitriy_Guller
I agree with him that Indycars do not belong on highly banked tracks, and that includes the cookie cutter 1.5 milers. It's not only an issue of safety, but also an issue of them being too much track for the cars. As a result, those cars are too easy or too dangerous to drive on those tracks, depending on the poison you pick.

Remove the wings, ENTIRELY, and you lose 20 mph.
Simple really.

Bob

#1325 McGuire

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 12:58

Originally posted by Bob Riebe

Tony Hulman was the one who brought road racing to Indy cars.


And he put USAC together when the AAA Contest Board abandoned motorsports in 1955, and he financed Phoenix International Raceway when the builders could not obtain conventional funding. It is ridiculous to assert that he just sat at the Speedway and counted the money. When he was alive he was the most powerful and influential man in open wheel racing. Hulman died in 1977; CART was founded in 1978-9. It never could have happened the other way around.

#1326 McGuire

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 13:03

Originally posted by Dmitriy_Guller
I agree with him that Indycars do not belong on highly banked tracks, and that includes the cookie cutter 1.5 milers. It's not only an issue of safety, but also an issue of them being too much track for the cars. As a result, those cars are too easy or too dangerous to drive on those tracks, depending on the poison you pick.


All that said, they are also among the IndyCar Series' most popular and successful events. The races at Texas, Kentucky, Kansas City and Chicago draw consistently strong crowds. And speaking personally, I have seen some great racing at these events. And there are a number of drivers who enjoy this style of racing a great deal, Dixon and Wheldon for example.

#1327 shaggy

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 14:33

Minardi is officially out, too. They will not join the IRL until, maybe, 2010.
They will go to LB for the final race

shaggy

#1328 McGuire

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 14:57

I think everyone has to take an honest look at the expectations and goals of open-wheel racing. Much of the talk is not realistic, especially in comparisons to NASCAR. For example, Milwaukee is a great open-wheel venue. With its long history and great racing this track seems to appear on every fan's dream schedule, including mine.

However, if you ever read an attendance report claiming much more than 25,000 spectators at Milwaukee, you were reading baloney because that is all the place holds. It will never be a Sprint Cup venue -- it's too small. This should give people reason to consider the actual scale open-wheel racing has traditionally operated upon for all these years. Those who believe that OW can exceed or should exceed NASCAR in attendance etc. are just not being realistic. By 1990 NASCAR was operating on a much greater scale. The only way OW could even appear competitive in comparison was through techniques like "three-day attendance" figures, which are not for real.

The goal should not be trying to catch or pass NASCAR because that is not going to happen. NASCAR is a great yardstick but it is no target. Job one is to build a solid field of teams and a strong schedule of perennial events, which should include Milwaukee IMO. And in looking over the landscape of possibilities, these are very realistic and attainable goals.

#1329 Frank Booth

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 15:06

Good point ^

I think there is plenty of room for a niche for those of us that are tired of WWF on wheels. I personally don't want it to become like NASCAR since we already have NASCAR.

#1330 qwazy

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 23:56

Originally posted by Frank Booth
Good point ^

I think there is plenty of room for a niche for those of us that are tired of WWF on wheels. I personally don't want it to become like NASCAR since we already have NASCAR.



Pitlane brawls between drivers and drivers' dads isn't too bad, though.

#1331 Luke78

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 00:06

I agree with what Gordon Kirby says about the schedule (and it's something F1 should pay more attention to as well, after all, they don't move Wimbledon or the Masters Golf around every year - venue or dates!) you need continuity in a racing season schedule, for many good reasons.

So, three 500 Milers - Indy 500, Michigan 500 and another... it maybe goes against the not racing on high banked ovals argument but the Texas night race has always been popular. Just make it 500 miles instead of 400 and maybe hold it in October for a better spread of 500 milers. Call it the 'Triple Crown' like they used to have and award $5 million to any driver who can will all three in one season!

North America has many great road racing circuits, ones I'd consider traditional Indy venues; Road America, Mid-Ohio, Portland, Laguna Seca - plus ones I'd consider not so traditional; Mexico City, Watkins Glen, St Jovite, Mosport Park, Road Atlanta, Sears Point... Then there's the airport circuits at Cleveland and Edmonton and you can't overlook Belle Isle as it is Motown after all!

In terms of Street races you have the iconic Long Beach, a no brainer. Current events in Toronto, Surfers, St Petersburg, Houston and some that could be revived, Denver, Las Vegas, Vancouver and so on.

Finally the low banked 1 mile ovals. You've got Milwaukee and Phoenix traditional Indycar venues. Also, they used to race at New Hampshire. After that I'm not too sure, maybe they'd have to race on a few 1.5 milers after all...

I'm sure you can get a great 20 race schedule out of that, run it from March to October and try and keep as many traditional (or formerly traditional) dates as possible.

As for the cars - something that looks like an Indycar circa 1993 I reckon, they used to look great back then. The IRL cars are pretty ugly! Also they should use a Turbo engine.

I guess the idea is to roughly recreate what Indycar was like 15 years ago! Same old points system as well and ditch the IRL name for 'Indycar World Series'. The term 'IRL' has some bad connotations for some people...

It would be good to see more top line American divers racing in the series as well and some of the old teams coming back like Walker and Forsythe.

So after 13 years of civil war, they'll probably have to spend at least the next 3 or 4 sorting things out... It seems ironic that Tony George's original reasons for setting up his own series were to have more ovals, more American drivers and cut costs - well, he got the first part I guess. Although now he's come round to the idea (or should say his senses!) of getting all the old champ car venues on the IRL calendar and abandoned the idea of an oval biased (let alone oval only) open wheel series...

I hope it all works out!

#1332 Luke78

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 00:20

I should also add, there's no need to compete with NASCAR. If you're a true motor racing fan then the more genuinely strong, competitive racing series there are in the world the better. They don't detract from each other, they complement each other. The only time you have a problem is when you have 2 or more very similar series trying to compete with (and ultimately destroy) each other like we had with the 'Split'. It's not as if NASCAR and Indycar didn't co-exist successfully in the early to mid 90's for example... Stockcars and Indycars are different enough that even the casual fan can differentiate. I for one know I can enjoy both. Plus Formula 1, Endurance Sportscars, Touring Cars, Rally Cars and Moto GP!! It's all good!

#1333 Bob Riebe

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 16:02

It makes no sense that some seem to think that more races is better.
I can think of no series that improved because it had more races.
DO NOT say NASCAR the number of races has zero to do with its success, and actually screwing the old system is causing grief.

Ten solid races is one hell of a lot better than twenty half-assed races, and right now half-assed seems to be the norm.
Bob

#1334 Frank Booth

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 16:22

I'm thinking 16-18 is a good number possibly 20 stretched out longer.

To add to what luke was saying about the triple crown I think they could break it up into three sub triple crowns so to speak. You could have the oval, road course & street course seasons each consisting of 3-4 races. IMO that is what made CART great, there were different skill sets all within the same series which enabled different drivers/teams to shine at different points of the year. The ones that could adapt the best in the areas that they weren't as strong ultimately were the best teams.

#1335 McGuire

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 19:07

According to Rick Matsumoto of the Toronto Star, Michael Andretti and associates are arranging to purchase the Toronto race. That indicates that George has a place on the schedule for it in '09...


http://www.thestar.c.../article/347677

Andretti drives bid to buy race's assets
Mar 19, 2008 04:30 AM
Rick Matsumoto
SPORTS REPORTER

Michael Andretti always had a love affair with Toronto.

And why not? He won the Molson Indy an unprecedented seven times during his brilliant career as a race car driver and now sees himself scoring another victory as he tries to become the owner of the Grand Prix of Toronto, restoring open-wheel racing to the Exhibition Place circuit.

Retired as a driver since last year's Indy 500, Andretti, along with partners Kim Green and Kevin Savoree, announced yesterday they have signed a letter of intent to purchase the assets of the Grand Prix of Toronto.

"Toronto is a place that I have always loved," said Andretti in a statement. "It's a great race track and a great venue. Racing there was always the highlight of my year and it's exciting to think that we're exploring the possibility of owning the event.

"I was fortunate enough to win there seven times as a driver and all those wins were special. If we were able to put a deal together to own and operate an event in Toronto, I certainly would count that as another win there for sure."

The event is owned by Champ Car co-owners Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerry Forsythe. However, when they recently signed an agreement with Indy Racing League owner Tony George to reunify the two series after a bitter 12-year split, a Toronto race could not be fitted into the new IndyCar Series schedule.

Only the Edmonton and Surfers Paradise, Australia, races will run as part of that schedule this year, while the Long Beach, Calif., event will be a separate Champ Car "farewell" race next month before also becoming part of the IndyCar Series next year.

Toronto, which had been one of the cornerstones of the Champ Car Series and its predecessor, CART, since the inaugural race in 1986, had been mentioned prominently as likely to be added to the IndyCar schedule for next season.

Now, if Andretti and his partners are successful, it would almost be a certainty that a race at Exhibition Place would be held next year.

Charlie Johnstone, the president and CEO of the Grand Prix of Toronto under the Kalkhoven-Forsythe ownership, said the interest by Andretti and his group "speaks volumes to the stature this event maintains ... in North America."

"We look forward to working with Michael, Kim and Kevin and their team over the course of the next several weeks to pull this off," he said.