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  • What happens to the sport when.....

    The situation I forsee is one where Cart fails and the IRL adds certian road and even street (LBGP) events. Most of the Cart teams would join the IRL and essentially the IRL becomes what Cart was.

    Now Cart's failure isn't going to turn any of the Cart fans on to the IRL. Sure some may watch the races but they won't be the fan that they were (traveling spending money to attend races, promoting the sport to friends, etc.).

    And it also seems that the IRL fans won't be happy with this situation as the aspects they didn't care for in Cart now apply to the IRL (international drivers, road/street courses, few if any Americans).

    What will become of the sport then? The vast majority of the fans will be unhappy.

    The only thing I can see the IRL doing to help this situation is to remain all oval. But even in that situation if many Cart teams and drivers are racing, it still will make many fans unhappy.

  • #2
    That is why the IRL will start a road racing division, so all the CART teams/drivers/fans will have a place to go. It will happen within the next 2-3 years.
    "IRL" ... what IS that anyway?

    J. Michael Ringham
    Vice President, Marketing
    IndyCar® Series Indy Pro Series

    www.jonescams.com yankeegoback.com

    Comment


    • #3
      as Mr. Silva deftly casts his bait into the water....


      I'll be here racefan. Oh sure, I'll b1tch and moan about this and that, but at the end of the day it's all still racing and I'm still a racefan.
      "Living well is the best revenge"

      George Herbert

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      • #4
        There doesn't seem to be enough teams/sponsors to fill out both the IRL and Cart. So why would an IRL road racing division be any different?

        TG spent plenty of $ building the IRL. Can he really afford to do something similar again?

        If the IRL has a chance to be the "one and only" OW series why would TG take the chance at splitting the fan base again?

        I just don't see the road racing division of the IRL coming to pass. Instead I see the IRL with a few road courses.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by silva:
          <STRONG>
          I just don't see the road racing division of the IRL coming to pass.</STRONG>
          open your eyes and look around

          12 cars running both divisions
          16 cars running just ovals
          16 cars running just road courses

          That is 28 cars at each race with 44 cars plus one offs showing up for Indy.

          The 44 car total is only 2 more then we have right now in the IRL and CART.
          "IRL" ... what IS that anyway?

          J. Michael Ringham
          Vice President, Marketing
          IndyCar® Series Indy Pro Series

          www.jonescams.com yankeegoback.com

          Comment


          • #6
            The 44 car total is only 2 more then we have right now in the IRL and CART.

            OK, but don't forget Cart is FAILING. Cart is paying Chip to run a third car so that one doesn't count. Chip certianly isn't going to have 4 cars full time in the IRL once Cart is gone.

            I don't believe the sport can support 44 cars. I consider the current situation to be "unhealthy" and if the IRL were to duplicate it after Cart fails it would stretch resources to the breaking point again.

            I suggest the situation you profess is unrealistic.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Railbird:
              <STRONG>as Mr. Silva deftly casts his bait into the water....


              I'll be here racefan. Oh sure, I'll b1tch and moan about this and that, but at the end of the day it's all still racing and I'm still a racefan.</STRONG>
              I'll take the bait! I like Birds answer to this troll!
              Have a very blessed day!

              Comment


              • #8
                I hope CART does not fail, but if it does, I would like to see a series like ALMS step up to the plate. I don't think the IRL should even think about a road racing series until they have 20 well attended events on their schedule each year.

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                • #9
                  You end up with the "CART" teams (or recently CART teams like Penske) running both divisions and a few of the "IRL" teams running both, but mostly oval only. What I don't see out there right now are the road course only teams in this series. My guesses if the road racing division really comes to pass:

                  Both: Penske, Rahal, Ganassi, Andretti/Green, Fernandez, Nunn, Blair Cheever.

                  Oval only: Foyt, Menard, assorted IRL teams on limited budgets.

                  Road only: ?

                  Unclear: Hemelgarn, Kelley, Panther, Walker

                  Still around? Newman Haas, Herdez, Patrick, Forsythe, Schmidt, Treadway, Dreyer, Conquest, Curb

                  I don't see many, if any good teams doing oval only or road only. The better teams will do both, and the weak/underfunded teams will pick up scraps in one "division" or the other. If CART really folds, I do wonder if NH, Patrick and Forsythe keep playing. I also wonder if Schmidt, Treadway and several others don't "give up" if the teams consolidate into one series.

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                  • #10
                    Here's my $.02. I agree with Silva that unless something drastic happens soon, the IRL will be the sole survivor with about a 20-25 race schedule including 3 or 4 non-oval races. However I disagree that with this format "the vast majority of the fans will be unhappy". I would be willing to bet that if you could take a unbiased survey, you would find that most fans are like myself in they watch and enjoy both the IRL and CART. It is my opinion that the real IRL haters and CART haters are a vocal minority of race fans as a whole.

                    I also feel that long term goal of the IRL is not to get the hardcore CART fans to enjoy their series. Rather, the real goal of the IRL is to grow the fan base by getting new fans that haven't yet discovered open wheel racing. This would include both NASCAR fans and also the people like those I work with that have no knowledge or allegiance to any existing form of racing.

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                    • #11
                      Let's get one series off life support before we start dividing again.
                      We need one OW series with about 20 strong teams and maybe 10 or 12 wannabes. Let that run for a few years and see if it grows. If very succesful then a RR/SR series or a few races added to the schedule would be OK.
                      If little or no growth then we must accept there is no market for OW to become a major player.
                      If success is somewhere in between then we do something in between.
                      To add additional $$ or other distractions to the job at hand is not the right answer(IMO).
                      We may have to admit at some point OW racing just doesn't appeal to todays market. Everything has its season.

                      It's pretty obvious to me RR/SR has never been anything more than a niche market. I don't see that changing.

                      IMO there is not a lot of crossover between the 2 disciplines (RR/Oval). If one sunday morning we awoke to a rules change in the NFL, instead of playing by American football rules, they were playing by international football (soccer) rules, would we watch? Some, maybe. Not many. Pretty close analogy to Oval/RR differences.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by silva:
                        <STRONG>[b]I consider the current situation to be "unhealthy" and if the IRL were to duplicate it after Cart fails it would stretch resources to the breaking point again.
                        </STRONG>
                        Your first mistake is assuming that CART's limitations are Indy Car's limitations. CART's lack of value has nothing to do with the value of an IRL road racing division that includes the Indy 500. I have talked to an Atlantics team that wants to move up to CART, but their sponsor who is a long time road racing supporter is pressuring them to go to the IRL. This team and sponsor would jump at the chance to run in an IRL road racing series that also gave them a chance to run Indy.
                        "IRL" ... what IS that anyway?

                        J. Michael Ringham
                        Vice President, Marketing
                        IndyCar® Series Indy Pro Series

                        www.jonescams.com yankeegoback.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It ammuses me how the word division keeps coming up.

                          1. A division between sponsors
                          2. A division between the best teams
                          3. A division between the best drivers
                          4. A division between fans

                          Kinda like a division between IRL/CART
                          Preserving America's oval track tradition:
                          1.New Hampshire, 2.Charlotte, 3.Dover, 4.Disney World, 5.Las Vegas, 6.Atlanta, 7.Gateway, 8.Nazereth, 9.Phoenix, 10.Fontana, 11.Pikes Peak, 12.Michigan.

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                          • #14
                            I'm not sure if any proposed series identity, or components, would have universal acceptance from open wheel fans. There is a certain element of history, be it recent or past, that will continue to shape opinions.

                            However, a single series identity is more likely to solidify sponsorship. And that relates directly to the health of the sport. Sponsors are reluctant to provide long term committments under any cloud of uncertainty.

                            I recognize that some of the tenants of the newly formed IRL were attractive because of the independence from manufacturers. Manufacturers are also sponsors. There was a certain level of glee when Honda and Toyota left CART. There is also a certain level of concern now that the 1000 pound gorillas are with the IRL. Is it likely either of these entities are going to be satisfied with a small niche of all oval racing carved out of the open wheel racing picture? Do you believe their long term participation plans are that restrictive?

                            Regardless who makes the decisions, or for what political motivation, you'll never go wrong by "following the money". There's more revenue potential, from a variety of sources, in a single open wheel series identity than in separate factions.

                            That may or may not be particularly appealing to specific individual race fans......but it is the global and bottom line picture.

                            GV

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Here is how it will shape up.

                              Teams that will have enough $$$ to run drivers for the overall championship.(not too many can afford a 33 race season)
                              Penske(2)
                              TCGR(2)
                              Team KOOL Andretti(2)
                              Rahal(1)
                              Menard(1)
                              Mo Nunn(2)
                              Kelley(1)

                              Teams that will run drivers for the Road racing championship.
                              Fernandez(2)
                              Herdez(1)
                              Newman/Hass(2)
                              Forsythe(1)
                              Patrick(1)
                              Walker(1)
                              Blair(1)
                              Cheever(1)
                              plus a few Atlantic teams moving up.

                              Teams that will run drivers for the Oval racing championship.
                              Foyt(2)
                              Panther(2)
                              Hemelgarn(1)
                              Treadway(1)
                              Boat(1)
                              SSM(1)
                              D&R(2)
                              Cheever(1)
                              Kelley(1)
                              Plus a few IPS teams stepping up.

                              There are other teams like Conquest, 310, and Bradley that could end up in either division.
                              "IRL" ... what IS that anyway?

                              J. Michael Ringham
                              Vice President, Marketing
                              IndyCar® Series Indy Pro Series

                              www.jonescams.com yankeegoback.com

                              Comment

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