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Look, let's face it Tony won because of the Indy 500 pure and simple. Sponsers want to be seen in that race, end of, as long as the King has that race he's the lord.

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Look, let's face it Tony won because of the Indy 500 pure and simple. Sponsers want to be seen in that race, end of, as long as the King has that race he's the lord.

I don't know much about the 2 series as I have not watched them for a long, long while, well, since they were 1 series actually, but I would agree with that. That's my 'common' perception as an outsider.

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Look, let's face it Tony won because of the Indy 500 pure and simple. Sponsers want to be seen in that race, end of, as long as the King has that race he's the lord.

That's a large factor in it, but IRL attendance is up, and so are TV ratings. Yes, the ISC does kind of force you to buy IRL tickets to get NASCAR tickets, but in 2005, with the same force-buying, no one went, and magically the stands are pretty full these days. The IRL is on the rise in general, I think. But my opinion isn't credible at all because I can't compare it to Champ Car. All I know is the Mexican audience is dramatically down in CCWS and it gets similar TV ratings to F1 (0.3 usually).

Either way, neither are doing that well. TG will manage the series better. Not sure about the racing. I liked most of what I saw in the IRL last year, and I really liked the few races I watched from the Lola era of Champ Car (after Greg Moore's death, I've never really watched CART or CCWS), but other than San Jose, Las Vegas, and Cleveland, the Panoz era wasn't too exciting. Long Beach, Mexico, the European races, etc all were boring. But I grew up on stock cars and the Indy 500, so I guess I'm just an oval racing guy, but def don't get me wrong that I dislike road racing, because I don't. I like good oval racing (IRL, WoO, ARCA), but not boring oval racing (NASCAR 2004-2007), and good road racing (ALMS was so badass last year!), but not boring road racing. I like all racing that's got action, and my first race was the 89 Indy 500 (I don't care how un-American it is, GO EMMO!), so I got spoiled and expected every race to be like that.

I think that adding 3-5 road courses to the IRL would be a good thing, though. We need balance. The ideal schedule, for me, would be, in no particular order:

Mosport

Mont-Tremblant

Watkins Glen (the full course)

Mexico City

Laguna Seca

Long Beach

Road America

Road Atlanta

Las Vegas (street circuit)

Mid-Ohio

St. Petersburg (as in the IRL circuit in Florida, and not the Bernie circuit in Russia)

Indianpolis Motor Speedway

Texas Motor Speedway

Pocono Raceway

Richmond International Raceway

Phoenix International Raceway

Michigan International Speedway

The Milwaukee Mile

Chicagoland Speedway

Sanair Speedway

California Speedway

Rockingham Speedway (in Britainland, not the one in NC, but the one in NC is pretty cool, too)

11 and 11. Why? Because it adds to 22. Fireball Roberts, Bobby Allison, and Bobby Labonte, among others, all drove 22.

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An Indy 500 with meaning for the first time in 13 years sounds good to me.

........but they are still running the same cars/engines with no inovation, sucks big time.....................

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........but they are still running the same cars/engines with no inovation, sucks big time.....................

I agree, that does suck, but from a positive viewpoint, the unification could be a step to an increase in popularity, popularity brings money, money brings the ability for teams to innovate.

I'm still a fan of the a few different chassis and engine suppliers for the regular season, and make the Indy 500 a non-points race and make all the normal chassis and engines illegal, forcing teams to design something. Of course, there's not enough money to do that, but I can dream...

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The real winner today is ALMS. The entire crapwagon.com community seems to be headed there.

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Edmonton?????? Some might ask.

Long racing history in that City back to the old Can-Am days.

Quite an American connection as well. The Edmonton Muni airport where the race is held was the businest airport in NA during WWII. America flew supplies up to Alaska from Edmonton and also ferried fighter aircraft to Russia. The airport track is popular with the drivers, and the fan turnout the last three years was awesome.

Anyone who watched NHL hockey will remember the Stanley cup play-offs a couple of years ago. When America needed friends the Hockey patrons in Edmonton sang the star spangled banner loud and clear at every game. So loud the the official anthem singer just held the mike out and let the fans sing. It was a classy thing to do after a few boo birds in Anaheim booed the Canadian Anthem.

So if your asking why Edmonton, over places like Toronto or Montreal. I think the above is part of the answer. Alberta and Edmonton in particular has been, and is, a friendly port in the storm for the Americans.

A great angle for Television would be old footage of air cobras landing at the airport fading to color Indy/Cart footage of cars at speed on the track. It would bring the historical connection between American speed and the City to light. Indy is after all a tradition, and I think the connection would state the traditional bond that has existed for decades.

Edited by YHR

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I wonder who will keep the 2007 champcar fleet of chassis and engines.

I've heard three rumors: Paul Gentilozzi will try to start a rival series, they will go to A1GP, they'll become the new Atlantics car. Of the three, I believe none. I hope something happens with them, because it really sucks for Don Panoz to lose out so big.

This leads me to a few more rumors:

Atlantics will become a supporting series to ALMS. Open wheel cars at Road America sounds good to me.

The series will split again for one weekend so that they can run Road America. If I was an IRL team, I'd race RA instead of Kentucky, but that's just me.

New Hampshire Motor Speedway (that still sounds funny to me) wants an IRL race in 2009.

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I don't know what they'll do with the Panoz, but I hope they find some use to it... It's just the most beautiful open-wheel car we have to these days.

About the news of Champ Car and the IRL becoming one... It's maybe too late, but it was totally necessary, sorry for champ car, but the guy who owns Indianapolis, owns the american open-wheel competitions... And I think that it will be allways like that.

Good luck to the "new" IndyCar Series... I'll watch every race!

Edited by E.Wheldon

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If you believe what you hear:

  • They will try to have an even spread of speedway, short oval, road course, and street course.
  • The series will split for Long Beach and Motegi.
  • Turbos are out of the question (dammit!)
  • The DP01 will be used by Superleague
  • Atlantics will run next year, and will still be key to driver development.

So, now we're left with this: Atlantics will be key for driver development, but IPS will have a more similar schedule, as Atlantics are all-road course, meaning those drivers won't be as prepared.

Another thing to note: Conquest has entered two cars, one with Franck Perera and one TBA, for Homestead, the season opener.

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The man for the other Conquest sit was Simon Pagenaud, but he did not a very good job at Sebring, early february... I think he will not be at IndyCar now that he's out of Walker/Team Australia.

I've read lots of thinks... That Tony George is thinking about turbo chargers for 2010, for example... And the new IRL car would came at 2010 too. The 2009 shedule would have the better oval, street and road courses of both series... To much speculation I think...

I've read too that a press conference of the Indy Car Series is going to happen tonight, at Indianapolis. I'm very anxious to see what they have to say...

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The man for the other Conquest sit was Simon Pagenaud, but he did not a very good job at Sebring, early february... I think he will not be at IndyCar now that he's out of Walker/Team Australia.

I've read lots of thinks... That Tony George is thinking about turbo chargers for 2010, for example... And the new IRL car would came at 2010 too. The 2009 shedule would have the better oval, street and road courses of both series... To much speculation I think...

I've read too that a press conference of the Indy Car Series is going to happen tonight, at Indianapolis. I'm very anxious to see what they have to say...

Simon Pagenaud will go to LMS, I've heard.

Last night on Wind Tunnel, Tony George and Kevin Kalkhoven talked about it. TG totally ignored the question about turbos, so that's a no go it would seem. Most of that information was straight from them, but not all.

The press conference is Wednesday, I think. There was a meeting today, though.

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Simon Pagenaud will go to LMS, I've heard.

Last night on Wind Tunnel, Tony George and Kevin Kalkhoven talked about it. TG totally ignored the question about turbos, so that's a no go it would seem. Most of that information was straight from them, but not all.

The press conference is Wednesday, I think. There was a meeting today, though.

I think it's really better for Simon to go to LMS at this moment... Indy will be a good place for him in 2 or 3 years.

And I guess my sources are drunk (it's bloody possible)! :lol:

Anyway, I've heard about that meeting of George and Kalkhoven... People said there was Mario Andretti and Jacques Villeneuve too... If it's true... It's awesome to have this guys really talking and trying to figger out a solution to the "open-wheel problem"... Just the best we can get.

[EDIT]

I've found this:

Merger Quotes: Kalkhoven, George, Andretti and Villeneuve

SPEEDtv.com columnist Robin Miller co-hosted Sunday’s Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain as the duo welcomed several key players from the open-wheel racing world after owners of the Indy Racing League and Champ Car World Series agreed to unify in 2008. Miller and Despain hosted racing legend Mario Andretti, an Indy 500 and CART Series champion who has been a proponent of open wheel unification; Tony George, the founder and CEO of the IRL; Kevin Kalkhoven, co-owner of the Champ Car World Series; and Jacques Villeneuve, the last champion of a unified American open-wheel series (CART Series 1995).

Following are excerpts from the show:

TONY GEORGE/KEVIN KALKHOVEN

Despain: Kevin, there has been an annual rumor this would happen. What was key to it happening now?

Kevin Kalkhoven: The press stayed out of it for a long time. We’ve been talking for many years and this was the time. I’m glad to see we’ve extended an olive branch. It was unanimous. Gerry (Forsythe, co-owner of Champ Car World Series), the partners and I decided it was the right thing to do.

Miller: Tony, the olive branch you guys offered was free engines, free cars, $1.2 million per car and some races. Have we determined if it will be just Long Beach and Edmonton this year?

Tony George: Well, what we’ve been working on the past couple of weeks just gets us to the starting line, I think. The real work starts here and now. There are a host of questions that need to be answered. There is a lot of information that needs to be disseminated from the league and the league management to the teams. We need to start having some conversations with the promoters … all the things that have been talked about in the press. All due credit goes to Kevin and Gerry. It’s well-known how passionate they are about open-wheel racing and how committed they are to Champ Car but I think their decision over the last few weeks and months is a reflection of their commitment to the fans. Rumors of unification talks have come up every few months every year but this time I think they were genuinely thinking about what the long-term benefit to open wheel racing would be by trying to get this together. They’ve been great to work with. This is tough but good things come about when people take the time to think about the big picture. We’re excited to be able to work with them and bring about this unification.

Despain: Kevin, do you have any handle on how many Champ Car teams will take advantage of that deal we discussed and actually be ready to go IRL racing at Homestead in five weeks?

Kalkhoven: I really don’t know. This is all still fairly new to all of them. I know of a few teams who have committed to doing it. I know some others who are seriously considering it. They have some issues with their drivers, of course, that they’ve contracted that are going to run road courses. There are still some things to go through but overall, I’d say the mood is positive and I believe there is goodwill to try to get this done.

Despain: Kevin, how big can it get? What’s a realistic assessment of the future growth potential here?

Kalkhoven: The first thing is that anyone expecting unification to be some kind of magic bullet has probably got it wrong. There’s a lot of hard work ahead of us. One of the big things that will happen is the advent of the new car in 2010, which will put a lot of the teams on a level playing field. I think it will increase the level of competition and I think that together with a new schedule will go a long way toward developing the series both nationally and internationally.

Miller: Tony, have you guys worked out a plan for 2010? Could there be a chance for turbo-charged engines? Would you like two engine manufacturers?

George: Obviously, we’re going to be using our equipment. We have a schedule set for 2008. We’re going to try to bring aboard some really good events and hopefully we’re going to be able to work them out and add them to the 2008 schedule. I think 2009 becomes a cleaner sheet of paper and we really have the opportunity to bring the best of both series together with an eye toward 2010 and 2011, which will be the centennial of the Indianapolis 500. We’ve got a lot of good things going on. I think all the teams employ talented people and a lot of them have worked in IRL and Champ Car. I think the teams will get up to speed quickly. They’ll get a lot of help and I can guarantee all the teams in our paddock are excited about this and we’ll get them up to speed as quickly as we can. The real opportunity comes in the next couple of years. We’re going to be looking at new technologies. Turbo-chargers may or may not be a part of it but very well could. We’ll look at alternative fuels and really have an opportunity to start shaping what we want Indy Car racing to be for the future.

Despain: What is Indy Car racing? What do you think it should be? What’s the right mix of ovals, road courses, street courses and so forth?

Kalkhoven: It’s going to be largely dependant on Tony but we’ve got some strong opinions we will be voicing. I think an equal balance of superspeedways and road courses is the right way to go. I think street courses have proved to be attractive with local audiences. I think we need to regain that balance we had in the ‘90s.

George: I agree. I think it’s going to look a lot like the 20-race schedule is going to be split between the three different disciplines.

Despain: How important, Tony, is it to have American drivers who appeal to American fans?

George: It’s important. We hope there will be some more interest. It will be an international series. The Indianapolis 500 has always been an international event and this is going to have it as its cornerstone. Certainly, international drivers and manufacturer participation is a good thing. I’m sure you’ll see a nice balance.

Despain: The upcoming Long Beach Grand Prix … we hear about the conflict with the IRL race in Japan … is there any possibility it can be worked out where all the drivers can come to Long Beach?

George: The whole thing with this coming together now is it is very late and it’s not going to be utopia. I think we are definitely looking at splitting the weekend between Japan and Long Beach and we’re going to do our best to put on a world-class event in both locations. But it’s going to be tough and those are things we are going to have start working on Monday.

MARIO ANDRETTI

Despain: You’ve spent a lot of time in different capacities trying to make this happen. Now that it has happened, do you take any credit and what is your reaction?

Mario Andretti: I am just happy it finally happened because I was so tired of having to explain or talk about the negatives of open wheel racing in any interview I was doing, no matter what the subject. Now finally we can talk about the positives, the future and so many things. Look at what the drivers have to look forward to. The young drivers that are looking at their careers and finally there is a new dimension before them. So many good things are going to come from this. Yes, I was listening to speculation about how quickly we will reach the level open wheel needs to be. Well, obviously, that’s an open question but the one thing we can do now is work toward achieving that tirelessly and it will be fun doing so.

Despain: As you listen to Tony George and Kevin Kalkhoven and through your discussions with them leading up to this, what jumps out at you as particularly positive or negative?

Andretti: The particularly positive thing is each was complimenting the other and that was music to my ears. They both seem comfortable with the agreement they reached. The one thing I’ve always remained optimistic about was at least when I had dialogue with each one of them separately, they each agreed that it (unification) needed to be done but didn’t know how. Tony used to say, ‘yes, we need to do it but I just don’t know how yet.’ They finally found the ‘how’ and that’s what we’ve been waiting for. I think anyone who cares about open wheel racing should feel very good about this.

Miller: What do these guys need to do first? What do they need to prioritize?

Andretti: They need to realize it will be tough for all of them in some different ways. I heard a fan talk about how it’s all one way – that Champ Car was giving. I don’t think so. I think both sides are going to have to give somewhat and it will be a while before you sort out all the things. How many ovals do we run? How many road courses? There are many good assets out there to take advantage of and that’s what you’ve got to do. You’ve got to pick from the best of both sides and make the series the way it should be. To be honest with you, I think it’s going to get closer to the way CART used to be because when it was in its heyday, the product was selling itself. That’s what it needs to be. That’s what the open wheel formula should be. You don’t follow NASCAR. You don’t try to emulate them. This is a different product and you go to different venues because of that.

JACQUES VILLENEUVE

... [NASCAR talk] ...

Miller: Where do you think Indy Car racing fits into the big spectrum of racing right now? Where should it be and where should it go?

Villeneuve: I was very sad when there was a split years ago. That was very damaging for open wheel racing in North America because at that point, Champ Car was very popular. The damage has been done but now with the two series coming together, hopefully that’s the first step in the right direction and all the sickness will be healed very quickly and we can get back to the good racing it used to be.

Despain: Have you entertained the idea of doing any more open wheel racing?

Villeneuve: I’ve done enough in open wheel racing with winning in Champ Car, the Indy 500, F1, so it feels right to move to something new and challenging like NASCAR is. Right now, the split is over but there is still a lot of mending to be done before it becomes what it used to be.

Edited by E.Wheldon

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I watched that live on TV last night, as well. TG really dodged the turbos.

Also love how Robin Miller only asked questions to TG, but completely avoided KK, who suspended him.

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A lot of questions to be answered still, a lot.

I was not happy with the interviews last night, maybe the Weds. press conferance will shed more light.

On another note it looks like for Long Beach I'll just be going on Sat. to see quali. the ALMS race and the drifting. Don't care about the Toyota celeb race.

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A lot of questions to be answered still, a lot.

I was not happy with the interviews last night, maybe the Weds. press conferance will shed more light.

On another note it looks like for Long Beach I'll just be going on Sat. to see quali. the ALMS race and the drifting. Don't care about the Toyota celeb race.

Yeah, the interviews weren't great. Sadly, Robin Miller was biased, and only asked TG, who was emotionless. I really was more concerned with what KK had to say, despite disliking his management. 2008 really just looks like it will be a big-grid IRL, but that's really because it's all they can do. I'd wait til 2009 to see the future. I think we could see a lot more Champ Car rules etc in 09, and I'll really start to care then.

The ALMS race will probably be a better show, anyway.

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Confirmed Full-Time Teams

Vision Racing

AJ Foyt, IV. (2)

Ed Carpetner (20)

Smoking Sucks Team Penske

Helio Castroneves (3)

Ryan Briscoe (6)

Panther Racing

Vitor Meira (4)

Andretti-Green Racing

Danica Patrick (7)

Tony Kanaan (11)

Marco Andretti (26)

Hideki Mutoh (27)

KV Technologies

Will Power (8)

Oriol Servia (32)

Target Chip Ganassi Racing

Scott Dixon (9)

Dan Wheldon (10)

AJ Foyt Enterprises

Darren Manning (14)

Rahal Letterman Racing

Ryan Hunter-Reay (17)

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

Towsend Bell/Milka Duno (23)

Roth Racing

Jay Howard (24)

Marty Roth (25)

Conquest Racing

Franck Perera (34?)

? (?) (NOTE: Team confirmed a second car, but no details announced)

Newman/Haas/Lanigan

Justin Wilson (?)

Graham Rahal (?)

HVM Racing

Ernesto Viso? (?)

Confirmed Part-Time Teams (Exlcudes Indy 500-Only Entrants)

Sarah Fisher Racing

Sarah Fisher (5?) (NOTE: Team may go full-time depending on sponsorship)

Luzco Dragon Racing

Tomas Scheckter (12?)

Target Chip Ganassi Racing

Alex Lloyd (?)

Rumored Full-Time Teams

Vision Racing

Paul Tracy? (22?)

AJ Foyt Enterprises

Pablo Donoso (41?)

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

Buddy Rice (15) (NOTE: Team will attempt to run the full season, but lack of sponsorship may prevent that from happening)

HVM Racing

? (?) (NOTE: The team is said to only have one entry, but some sources say they will have two)

Dale Coyne Racing

? (?) (NOTE: Rumors suggest Coyne will field 1-2 cars, but there has been no word on those plans recently)

Rocketsports Racing

? (?) (NOTE: Reports said Rocketsports will field 1-3 cars in the IRL, but it seems highly unlikely the rumor was true)

Rumored Part-Time Teams

None

Notes:

Forsythe Championship Racing, Walker Racing, Pacific Coast Motorsports, and Minardi Team USA will NOT switch to the IRL in 2008. Rocketsports Racing denied an entry for 2008, but rumors suggest otherwise.

Paul Tracy will not race in the IRL unless damn Gerry Forsythe releases him from his contract. Do the right thing Gerry; don't make me regret supporting your team. You signed the deal, Gerry, you didn't have to if you didn't think it was best for you, so don't blame the IRL and try to ruin it by preventing the second most popular driver from racing.

There is a potential max grid of 32 cars for 2008. 23 cars are confirmed, at least 3 more are likely to be added.

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