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Andretti: AGR considering Champ Car return

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  • Andretti: AGR considering Champ Car return

    Andretti: AGR considering Champ Car return

    Mario Andretti says his son may be considering a move back to Champ Car in time for 2007.

    Michael Andretti left Champ Car in 2003 to start Andretti-Green Racing and compete in the Indy Racing League. At the time, he was the latest "big name" to leave the former CART series for the rival open-wheel circuit.

    But Mario Andretti, who has tried in the past to bring the two sides together, says rule changes set to be introduced in 2007 will make Champ Car an attractive series for any team.

    "There are many reasons why Michael has a team in (the IRL), due to the support he's had from Honda up to now and to the importance of being present at the Indy 500 for his sponsors," Andretti tells Autosprint magazine.

    "Champ Car nowadays is more interesting for the circuits they race on, both geographically-speaking and for being more various and complete, because you have street circuits and ovals, while in IndyCar almost all races are on ovals."

    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 align=right border=0><!--drop width--><TBODY><TR height=8><TD></TD></TR><TR><TD><!-- Begin Ad --><SCRIPT type=text/javascript> if(!sops){if(p.sops){var sops=p.sops;}else{var sops="";}} if(dUnitBox==true){boxAd=true;} if(boxAd){if((!dUnitSky)||(dUnitBox)){place300x250 ();}} </SCRIPT><!--- End Ad ---></TD></TR><TR><TD> </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
    "I think as soon as one of the top teams - Penske, Ganassi, Andretti or Rahal - decide to move, the others will follow suit. Rahal and Ganassi could be the ones making the first move."

    There have been reports that Ganassi was considering fielding a car for select Champ Car events, such as Long Beach.

    Champ Car is set to introduce a new chassis design in 2007, making it more cost-effecient and attractive for new teams to join the series. Every team will field a new Panoz DP01 built by Elan Motorsports Technologies which will be paired with the next generation of the turbo-charged Ford-Cosworth V8 engine.

    "2007 will be the year where Champ Car will step out," series owner Gerald Forsythe recently stated. "We've had a lot of people expressing interest but without the availability of cars for this year, it makes it difficult. But people are planning now for 2007. There's light at the end of the tunnel. I believe there will be twenty-four plus Champ cars next year."

    Andretti says the one key factor preventing a mass exodus from the IRL to Champ Car is the Indy 500, which remains key for certain teams and sponsors.

    "(Michael's team) could even do Champ Car and just the Indy 500, but that would mean racing with completely different cars, making the costs soar and so on."

  • #2
    edit: ad gone. humor lost.
    "Foyt's mere presence is a punch in the face, an inoculation against milquestoast corporatism. There wasn't a car anywhere anyhow anytime that Foyt wouldn't put the boot to, and there hasn't been a race devised he couldn't win."
    - Jeff MacGregor, Sunday Money


    • #3
      Where is this article from, the Champ Car website?
      Have attended: Indy 500 (36), Belle Island (3), Kentucky (4), St Pete (3), Homestead (1), Texas (2) Michigan (5), Cleveland (3), Iowa (6), Chicagoland (5), IRP (2), Eldora (3)...


      • #4
        Originally posted by USMarine2041
        [b][size=4]"Champ Car nowadays is more interesting for the circuits they race on, both geographically-speaking and for being more various and complete, because you have street circuits and ovals, while in IndyCar almost all races are on ovals."
        Guess Mario missed that Champ Car is getting rid of all their ovals to road and street only in 2007 and that the IRL has been adding them.

        Is it May yet ?


        • #5
          Originally posted by damilt
          Where is this article from, the Champ Car website?
          Andretti tells Autosprint magazine.
          No surprises here. But am i the only who has never heard of Autosprint?


          • #6
            Originally posted by Cygni
            No surprises here. But am i the only who has never heard of Autosprint?

            Italian ,I believe,and a lot of poor translation,I also believe.
            ...the spice must flow.....


            • #7
              i assume cost efficient means the brass at CCWS will prop up micheal much the way apparently tony does....er.....

              im sure 7 eleven, jim beam and others will love the TV exposure CCWS gets.....

              without indy

              this story has more holes then a robin miller story on dan wheldon F1 driver...


              • #8
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                • #9
                  AGR's primary sponsor is Honda. Honda will no longer be putting as much money into them. Jim Beam/Klien Tools/ArcaEx are all paying associate level money (according to John Barnes, and that also appears to be common knowledge), and XM is partly a b2b deal with Honda.

                  Its pretty much like losing your biggest sponsor, and having to look at the big picture. Mario noted that the I500 is a major draw, and one offs were a likelyhood. Many sponsors want to schmooze, its been that way for years, ESPECIALLY in open wheel.

                  Its easy to do it in NASCAR... schmooze-ees dont mind going to Alabama/Talladega for Cup as its such a huge happening, and lots of the schmooze-ees love Cup anyway. And its easy to do in ChampCar... schmooze-ees dont mind staying feet away from the track, enjoying the carnival/event atmosphere, and going to clubs in cities etc.

                  But it IS difficult to do in the IRL. Its hard to get people to go out to Joilet or Sparta for IndyCars. This has much more to do with the venues than the racing.

                  I love open wheel oval racing and road course racing, so this is a problem for the future when it comes to variety. There is unfortunatly alot of pressure to race on the streets... and that threatens the mix i want to see.


                  • #10
                    so teams will keep bouncing between the IRL and Champ Car every 2-3 years, whichever is more "cost effective"... Hopefully , IMO, 2007 is the year the civil war ends.
                    No where in your rambling incoherent response did you come close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. We are all dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul.


                    • #11
                      Maybe Mario fears Marco doesn't have the skills to succeed on the ovals?


                      • #12
                        Man, this sounds like a reach. And from all of the stories about CCWS, it makes you wonder about 2006. So, what is the big parting of all oceans which will take place in 2007?

                        AGR would be better off in A1GP, that is if they're serious about leaving.
                        Get your head out of your past!!!


                        • #13
                          A lot of "may", "might", "could", and "possibly" in Mario's remarks.

                          Anyway, this one's closed. It's already being discussed at Splitzville.
                          "If TF members were given solid gold cars, some would complain about the color." - stnkypete


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