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Serious Problem: Atlantics

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  • Serious Problem: Atlantics

    I know a lot of you guys are far detached from the Atlantics series, and for good reason. It has been a fixture on the ChampCar circuit, far from most IndyCar venues and races, and hasnt run an oval in a few years.

    But it is struggling. Mightily.

    Currently it continues to be owned by Kalkhoven and Forsythe, and was NOT merged into the IRL. What that means is that its essentially a series on its own. Its schedule is down to 3 confirmed races: Long Beach, and a double header at Edmonton. Despite promises that there will be 12 races for the series, there is no way to sell sponsorship or seats as it stands, and nearly all the teams seem to be headed for the door. Defending series Champions Sierra Sierra have announced today that they are pulling both cars for the year due to the uncertainty.

    Now, here is why you should all care. IPS is long in the tooth, to put it lightly, and has never been that much of a success. While car counts are now respectable due to the chassis entering its 7th year of production, it has produced just a SINGLE race winning driver... a driver who only ran in the series part time (Marco Andretti). Also, it is currently without any title or engine sponsor. On top of that, its entire history stretches only 7 years back. There have also been safety concerns (founded or unfounded.)

    What the Atlantics has to offer: A series with incredible management (Vicki), lots of available chassis, an Engine AND Presenting sponsor in Maza/Cooper Tires, roughly equivalent speeds and car design to the IPS, an incredible history, a car capable of running on both ovals and roadcourses (an oval package was designed but never produced. It could easily be cranked out in time for 2009), and a history of producing winning drivers. The cars look great, sound great, and drive great. AND they are produced by a guy who currently sponsors a driver in the ICS, lest we forget.

    I propose that in 2009, the two series either merge and allow both chassis types to be legal, or you end the IPS and adopt the Swift with an oval package.

    So how do you make it work for 2008 to keep all the teams from dieing on the vine, and keep the most successful driver development series of all time alive? Let them run at the IndyCar events, and announce it immediately. There is no time to formalize every single schedule. Simply announce that the Atlantics will be running along side the IndyCar event in 2008, and make the announcement NOW.

    The clock is ticking... and all open wheel fans should want to save Atlantics.

  • #2
    Sierra Sierra just announced that they're not fielding an Atlantics team for 2008.

    Announcement

    roach

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    • #3
      How is IPS "long in the Tooth"? How is it not a success? The IndyCar series has multiple IPS champions in it. It has even more IPS race winners. The IPS cars produce great racing. And the reason for the great car counts isn't because of it being it's 7th year. It's because of it's increased purses. And Atlantic can't compete with that. All they had to offer was the 2 mil to the Champion for a CC ride and we all know what Matos thought of that.
      Skypigeon "If you're not on the bus, don't whine about the direction it's going."

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      • #4
        IPS is now flourishing with increased prize money, good car count, and has now becomes the de facto feeder series to the unified Indycar series.
        No doubt, more entries will be forthcoming as the former champ car teams will want to have its own affiliate in the IPS for additional test dates.
        After years of struggles, IPS' future is looking bright.

        You now propose that IPS fold and all IPS teams buy new chassis for next year and merge under GF and KK?
        Rest in peace, Dan Wheldon 1978 - 2011

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        • #5
          Either sell to (not really sure IMSA would want to buy the series), or run the IMSA schedule. It is the only thing that really makes sense for the series. Either that or the Grand Am. They could still team-up with the IRL at places like Watkins Glen and Sears Point.

          Atlantics should remain a road racing series; these cars, nor the series, belong on ovals. IPS can do both as a stepping stone to the IRL.
          Brian W Keske
          bwkdesign.wordpress.com

          "The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite."
          -- Thomas Jefferson

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          • #6
            Problem with Atlantics is that they are a ladder series to nowhere.
            Atlantics does not lead to Indycars nor ALMS.
            Rest in peace, Dan Wheldon 1978 - 2011

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            • #7
              Stickman/Raskay, the current IPS Dallara chassis is a 7 year old design... a design thats actually OLDER than that, as its based on a previously designed Euro series. A series which has since replaced its cars. There has been a myriad of advances in safety in the last 8+ years, many of which are included in the new Swift car, and not in the IPS design. It needs to be replaced soon, the IPS leadership has even discussed this.

              The IPS has an old car, a dubious track record in promoting drivers, no affiliated manufacturer backing, and a short history. All things that Atlantics can improve on.

              Letting Atlantics die on the vine makes no sense, and pawning it off on a sportscar series is a travesty. Atlantics has been promoting openwheel drivers for 30 years, and we are going to let it run into obscurity and death? As I said, that would be a travesty.

              Edit: As for Atlantics not belonging on ovals, they have run on ovals since at least 1991*, and I believe actually earlier than that. The IndyCar series is going to be a roadcourse/oval split (as it SHOULD be in my book), and its feeder should mirror that. There is no reason that the Swift doesnt 'belong' on an oval, in my book. Do they belong going 180+ at Texas? Thats a different story.

              * Edit 2: Just confirmed the first Atlantics oval race was 1988. This series doesnt belong on ovals, but IPS which was formed in 2002 does? Huh?

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              • #8
                Go back and study the long history of the series. It was a road racing series, and the only reason they ran ovals was because of CART.

                In addition, if Atlantics morphed into the new IPS, it would not be Atlantics anymore. It will essentially have died anyway if that were to happen.

                Perhaps it has seen its last days. IMSA has Star Mazda, and for two, both the young Andretti and Rahal came out of that series. Funny how they are now running in the top tier open wheel series in the USA after coming from a series which is run by IMSA....oh, the travesty.
                Brian W Keske
                bwkdesign.wordpress.com

                "The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite."
                -- Thomas Jefferson

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                • #9
                  The market will decide whether Atlantics lives or dies

                  But doesn't it make sense that former Champ Car teams would bring their Atlantics affiliates to IPS?
                  To reduce travel costs by racing in the same tracks each week and take advantage of additonal Indycar testing dates
                  That would be Conquest, Walker, PKV (Polestar), and Newman/Wachs.
                  Possibly Forsythe if Gerry is induced to come back.

                  So without these teams, what would be left in Atlantics?

                  Would Mazada continue to be interested in sponsoring Atlantics knowing that ESPN broadcast slots are certain to be gone?
                  Rest in peace, Dan Wheldon 1978 - 2011

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cygni
                    Edit: As for Atlantics not belonging on ovals, they have run on ovals since at least 1991*, and I believe actually earlier than that. The IndyCar series is going to be a roadcourse/oval split (as it SHOULD be in my book), and its feeder should mirror that. There is no reason that the Swift doesnt 'belong' on an oval, in my book. Do they belong going 180+ at Texas? Thats a different story.

                    * Edit 2: Just confirmed the first Atlantics oval race was 1988. This series doesnt belong on ovals, but IPS which was formed in 2002 does? Huh?
                    Cygni, I tend to agree with you but have this new generation of Atlantics cars run ovals?

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                    • #11
                      Why must it be either/or?

                      How do the two cars compare performance wise?

                      The reason I ask is that I think the Indy cars need an effective ladder system and ladders have more than one step, right?

                      You start out in the slower of the two, then move up to the faster of the two, then up to Indy cars. Just for example, let's say that the Atlantics are the slower of the two. (They may be or may not be, just illustrating.) A prospective Indy car driver would enter the touring series in Atlantics, then after a year or two move up to IPS, and after proving themselves there, into the Indy cars. Isn't that pretty much the way everybody else does it?

                      Therefore I think the IRL should take over Atlantics, keep IPS and use the two as steps on the Indy car ladder system.

                      Or does that make too much sense....
                      "Only a fool fights in a burning house."-Kang

                      "If you listen to fools....The Maaahhhhb Ruuuules....."-Ronnie James Dio

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                      • #12
                        I'm not sure the economy and the series can support 2 ladder series and there are others out there, too, Star Mazda and F BMW.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jim Wilke
                          I'm not sure the economy and the series can support 2 ladder series and there are others out there, too, Star Mazda and F BMW.

                          All I'm saying is aspiring drivers need a well-defined path to their goal series and one single ladder series isn't enough. If I was a young kid today who wanted to get to Indy, I'd be thinking, what's the next step? If I were in karts, do i want to go to Formula Fords, then Star Mazda, then Atlantics, then IPS, then the big show? But as it is now, we're just relying on people to drift in, and I don't think that's good enough. A series needs to GROW their talent. F1 and NASCAR realize this, and it's glaringly obvious that Indy cars don't.
                          "Only a fool fights in a burning house."-Kang

                          "If you listen to fools....The Maaahhhhb Ruuuules....."-Ronnie James Dio

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                          • #14
                            FWIW Atlantics are a long time favorite of mine. Incredible racing, and amazing cars. I still wish to drive one just once (or twice!) for the experience of it.

                            Nobody has one I can "borrow" though.
                            www.ragingphotos.com

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                            • #15
                              I would be a shame and a huge loss to US feeder racing if the atlantic series didn't exist

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