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MILLER: Ganassi's Plan for Open-Wheel

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  • MILLER: Ganassi's Plan for Open-Wheel

    Oh, my...from Speed.

    Chip Ganassi isn't looking to run the full Champ Car schedule in 2006, but he wouldn't mind taking his drivers and sponsor Target to Long Beach and Toronto. And he'd like to see Kevin Kalkhoven, Gerry Forsythe and Carl Russo come run the Indianapolis 500 and maybe St. Petersburg.

    He'd also like to see a little mini championship between the heavyweights of the Indy Racing League and Champ Car with a little financial incentive.

    And, since the cars and engines of both series aren't compatible, Ganassi has come up with a ride-sharing plan to make it work and shared it with SPEEDTV.com.

    "Let's take three teams from each series and four races for the sake of argument," he said Wednesday morning from his office in Pittsburgh. "My team would take two spare cars and prepare them for Kalkhoven for Indy and his team would do the same for me at Long Beach.

    "Forsythe would do the same for Bobby Rahal and Haas would provide cars for Roger Penske and vice versa. Then everybody throws in $500,000 and you run for it in a little mini championship."

    Ganassi's team captured four consecutive CART championships from 1996-99 before he joined the exodus to IRL in 2003, where Scott Dixon won the title for him. But, with the departure of General Motors and Toyota from Tony George's series, he's concerned about open wheel racing's future so he's been talking to everyone on both sides about his idea.

    "Right now this thing needs help, both series are on the gurney, and added together they don't equal the Busch series," said Ganassi, who intends to expand his Nextel Cup effort to four cars next year.

    "I've talked with Kalkhoven, Forsythe, Russo, Rahal, Roger (Penske) and Mario (Andretti) about this and I think it's a good idea and a great first step towards getting this thing back where it needs to be."

    Forsythe likes the concept, to a point.

    "I haven't talked with Kevin about it yet because he's not back from Australia but I don't know where else we'd want to be other than Indianapolis," said the co-owner of Champ Car, Cosworth and Long Beach who also fields the two-car team of Paul Tracy and Mario Dominguez in Champ Car.

    "I'd like to go back to Indianapolis and I can see why Chip would like to be at Long Beach and in Canada. I told him we'd welcome him back to Champ Car full-time but he's wanting everyone to get back together.

    "I told him he's preaching to the choir on that subject but we all know the problem there."

    Kalkhoven said last week at Australia that Ganassi's idea was something to consider but "I don't think any of our drivers want to go run those IRL cars on ovals after what happened to Bruno (Junqueira, injured last May and knocked out for the rest of 2005)."

    The obvious obstacle for this happening in '06 is that Champ Car runs May 13 (Houston) and May 21 (Monterrey, Mexico) and that leaves only one day (May 14) for Indy 500 qualifying.

  • #2
    "Right now this thing needs help, both series are on the gurney, and added together they don't equal the Busch series," said Ganassi
    I think I just found me a new sig line.
    DVR . . . . Life is too short to watch commercials.

    Comment


    • #3
      Incommiiiiiiiinnnng!!!!!

      I predict this will be a 7 page thread by tomorrow.
      Rest in Peace, Miles Nelson

      Never forget, 'Mackie' was here.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by dreamracer
        Incommiiiiiiiinnnng!!!!!

        I predict this will be a 7 page thread by tomorrow.
        It'll be 7 pages by tonight. By tomorrow it may be locked and/or moved.
        "Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose." --- Ayrton Senna

        Comment


        • #5
          There has been rumblings of this for awhile now. The teams seem pretty damn fed up with having to ask for less and less money each year, and i think it would be pretty funny if the teams... again... made the move that changed the look of the series. They seem to the ones whos livlyhood is being activly hurt by the split, so i understand it, and i support them... just like in 1979.

          Although, simple request.... can we not have the same outcome 23 years later this time?

          Oh... and this clearly shows the value, to the sponsors, of a few of ChampCars events. Its going to get interesting when the engine money is succesfully purged (more like "walks away") from American open wheel after the 06 season.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Cygni
            teams seem pretty damn fed up with having to ask for less and less money each year, and i think it would be pretty funny if the teams... again... made the move that changed the look of the series. They seem to the ones whos livlyhood is being activly hurt by the split,...
            Yet post-split, the those owners have had a lot to do with blurring the lines. Every time a Ganassi, Penske, Walker, Haas, etc takes a go at some sort of cross-over (publicly, I might add), they expand on the blur that is there for John Q PotentialFan.

            If the owners are going to do something about it, they need to decide first that they are unified on what the goal is, then go after it. Instead, they are just shooting themselves in the foot.

            Also, I'm not sure that the owners have much leverage anymore to cause significatnt change.
            "The face of a child can say it all. Especially the mouth part of the face" - Jack Handey

            Comment


            • #7
              Still seems to be 'all about Indy',doesn't it,especially when the leader of the opposition wants to be there more than anywhere else?

              Sounds too,like the 'going our own way' CART mantra is pretty flexible,eh?

              Maybe,just maybe the idiots running this thing are starting to see the river of red ink on the ledger.
              ...the spice must flow.....

              Comment


              • #8
                It's about time. If there's going to be a unification, it will have to be done in spite of TG. Ignore him and work around him. I think all of the owners are fed up by now.

                Wish he would elaborate:
                "I told him he's preaching to the choir on that subject but we all know the problem there."
                Same as what Mario said?


                (eight pages by tonight)
                What Happened?
                Who's got next?

                Comment


                • #9
                  SSDD

                  Ho-Hum.
                  For the record, I never had a problem with CART in 1995. Its when they turned beligerant twards IMS and their fans for supporting the IRL that turned me off them.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Right now this thing needs help, both series are on the gurney
                    After 10 years of operation I would consider this quote valid for the IRL. However ChampCar is only in her second year (financially) and against some considerable obstacles I would say with the numbers up this year and with a more solid field that we ought to sit and wait too see if the same can be said for them.

                    Personally I think both schedules would have to be created around this sort of notion - whether KK and TG can manage that is another story - frankly I don't see TG budging to apease anyone withouot a gun to his head.

                    That said it's about damn time that the owners began to stir the st*t pot on this one! I mean we've only been waiting for years for someone to force an end to this crap.
                    Some people are like a Slinky .... Not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile
                    when you shove them down the stairs.

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                    • #11
                      Then everybody throws in $500,000 and you run for it in a little mini championship."


                      ..where have i heard this before....heck all of that before.....oh yeah...I've been sayin it for 3 years

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                      • #12
                        "I've talked with Kalkhoven, Forsythe, Russo, Rahal, Roger (Penske) and Mario (Andretti) about this and I think it's a good idea and a great first step towards getting this thing back where it needs to be."
                        Let's see, is there anyone else he should have talked to?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jim Wilke
                          Let's see, is there anyone else he should have talked to?
                          Dale Coyne? Mo Nunn?
                          "Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose." --- Ayrton Senna

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            That person wants nothing to do with a 'merger' or 'partnership'.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jim Wilke
                              Let's see, is there anyone else he should have talked to?
                              Why? we all know the answer. It would appear too me that the very fact he's speaking with these folks is because he wants to circumvent Tony George.

                              Gee even the team owners are tired of it.

                              BTW - cheers to Forsythe for speaking his mind on Indy
                              Some people are like a Slinky .... Not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile
                              when you shove them down the stairs.

                              Comment

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