Skip to comments.Champ Car, Indy Racing League (IRL) Get Together
Posted on 02/08/2008 8:10:40 AM PST by af_vet_rr
The long, costly war between Champ Car and the Indy Racing League is close to being over and, for the first time since 1995, there could be one open wheel series for 2008. But theres still one major hurdle to overcome to make this long-awaited union a reality.
SPEED has learned that Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerald Forsythe, the co-owners of Champ Car, have reached an agreement with IRL founder Tony George to race together this season.
As reported by SPEEDtv.com recently, George offered the Champ Car ownership free Dallara chassis and Honda engines to any CC team that signs up for the full season in addition to receiving $1.2 million per car as part of the IRLs new TEAM program. Additionally, the Champ Car races at Long Beach, Edmonton and Surfers Paradise, Australia would be added to the 08 IndyCar Series schedule.
(Excerpt) Read more at auto-racing.speedtv.com ...
Maybe now American open-wheel racing can get back on track, and Marco can really put to rest any doubts anybody had.
In the days before the split we used to get crowds of 100,000 or more at MIS. These days I estimate the crowds at around 25,000 for open wheel races.
Ovals meets Road Courses, again. Glad to see this.
Open Wheel racing has been digging this hole for a long time. The NASCAR juggarnaught will be hard to overcome. The morons running OW racing can still figure out away to hose this up. They haven’t shown to have a whole lot of sense. I’m a sportscar racing fan. I’d rather see those auto manufacturers in the ALMS, IMO.
Those IRL cars are ugly looking and sound like crap. They should have adopted the newer DP01 that Champ Car uses. The other problem is those ugly IRL cars have a tendency to fly thru the air and end up in the fence. I hope it doesn’t come to pass using the current IRL death spec chassis.
NASCAR is a joke. The COT and all the rules changes have made it the most uninteresting of all the racing circuits.
NASCAR needs to open the rules up to breathe new life into this dieing concept.
Dump the push rod, carburetor motors. Lower the displacement limit an create a base template for body shape.
30 years ago, the only limits were displacement volume and weight. everything else was on the table for the teams to tinker with. Back when racing was for real men, not boys.
This is great news if it happens. A legitimate, adult alternative to the unwatchable crybaby soap opera WWE freakshow that is NASCAR.
I’m not a big fan of open wheel racing but we need the big crowds at Michigan to inject money into the local economy. Fortunately NASCAR hasn’t done anything stupid as of yet so we still have two big races per year but 3 big weekends per year would be great.
A few years ago I was proposing a semi-merger that would be something like the 1960s merger of the NFL with the old AFL. The IRL would emphasize oval racing the Champ series road racing, and they’d have some separate events and some combined events, with the top rated cars from each series racing against each other. And they’d have an overall combined champion, maybe with one winner-take-all final race. But, as with Seinfeld’s proposal to combine police work with street sweeping, no one listened.
That there is crazy talk. Everything is hunky dory in Brian France’s playground. Now have another sip of this funny tasting kool-aid. :-)
All your points are spot on, but don’t expect any changes in Brian France’s racertainment-marketing exercise.
The days when Indy racers - Foyt, Andretti, the Unsers, Rahal - were household names are long gone. I bet the average sports fan couldn’t name anyone from the Champ series, and practically no one from the Indy series except maybe Danica. NASCAR has put both open wheel series about two laps down, and they have a hell of a pit to climb out of.
I think the Indy 500 will be a good bellwether for where it’s going to go. Heck, they out to get Michael Andretti and a few of the others out of retirement just to generate some interest (especially since Mario was a driving force behind this).
Champ has better drivers who regularly jump to F1 and F1 drivers who jump to Champ. Champ also has a superior feeder system of young drivers in the Atlantic series.Champ has better circuits and road courses with Long Beach being the crown jewel of road courses. The latest DP01 chasis is the latest and best designed chasis in open wheel racing.
Tony George has an ego, old drivers and ovals.
I can’t agree that Long Beach is the “crown jewel of road circuits,” but maybe we’re using different terminology. To me a road circuit is a dedicated race track that isn’t in an oval, tri-oval, or rectangular (Indy) configuration, e.g., Road Atlanta, Mid-Ohio, Monza. I would call Long Beach a street circuit - closed-off public roads, like in Vancouver, Toronto, and Monte Carlo. And the ovals are the ovals - virtually all of the Indy circuits, except maybe one or two they’ve recently added.
One problem with American open-wheel racing is the difficulty of getting good American drivers in the series. All these guys come from Brazil and other countries with their pockets full of sponsorship money, and even good American drivers can’t compete with that.
Maybe we all really can get along.
You`re correct. My favorite closed road course is of course, Elkhart Lake.
The jewel crown of closed street courses is and always
has been Long Beach.
Be that as it may, still a big mistake to let Tony own it all and turn it into a predominately oval series.Champ should tough it out.
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