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Old 16 May 2003, 10:07 (Ref:600671)   #1
climb
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How To Reunite Irl And Cart And Keep All The Teams Alive: A Proposition Of Reform

People who are discussing CART-IRL unification have to face three basical problems:
1- Make US open-wheel stronger
2- Let small teams survive alongside bigger
3- Permitting variety and specialisation (road-street racing, ovals)

After reflecting about that I make a purpose:

CART and IRL unified in an US open wheel org., who manages such a championship:
- x oval events (we can discuss about the number, but at least 10-12)
- x road/street events

Each kind of a circuit has its own championship and standings, BUT there will be also an overall one:
infact each team can decide whether to specialise in a single type of events (e.g. only ovals) or to run both cathegories, but the total number of races made by each driver is 12 anyway.
Doing like this, bigger teams can decide to run for the overall standing, but none of their drivers can decide differently.
In other words, for instance, Nunn cannot place Scheckter in the all-oval championship, Takagi in the road one, and put Barron run for the overall standings: he has to decide if to participate for the overall championship with all his drivers or to specialise them in the same kind of a circuit.

Of course, all the teams would be allowed to place entries in the INDY500

There should be prizes for winners, both specialised and overall (higher for overall)

This is just a general proposition , and many modifications/improvement can be suggested.

What do you think about it?
Could it work as an effort to unify and strenghten US Open Wheel racing?
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Old 16 May 2003, 13:02 (Ref:600821)   #2
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f1manoz should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridf1manoz should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridf1manoz should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
The first thing that must happen is Tony George must be vacated from his current position of power. Once that is done and someone who actually has brains is put into power at IMS, then the road to recovery can begin.

Nothing will happen until TG admits his mistakes.
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Old 16 May 2003, 13:07 (Ref:600825)   #3
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climb should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridclimb should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
In my opinion the way to oblige someone to admit his mistakes is not very effective: by the way CART should do the same thing.
My aim , anyways is to invite all you the forumsters to design all together the new open-wheel league we call for; does any one have something to add to the raw sketch I did?
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Old 16 May 2003, 13:37 (Ref:600871)   #4
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It's a good idea in theory, climb... It's just the economics of such an arrangement which could be troublesome. If someone could pull it off, I'd be all for it!
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Old 16 May 2003, 14:15 (Ref:600944)   #5
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Putting this together would be undoubtedly complex, Lee, but botf Tg and CARt have experience of doing it; I know that the most difficult thing would be to make them get along.
But there could be a reciprocal interest if economies of scale could be reached; for instance, many low budget teams could get to prime racing, so this formula is able to attract money and people that nowadays work on a lower level of racing.
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Old 16 May 2003, 14:16 (Ref:600945)   #6
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Back in the day here at Ten-Tenths, there was a section called Parc Ferme. It was a place where the members could write articles of opinion or race reports or whatever about motorsports. In May of 2001 I wrote a piece about a proposed reconciliation between CART and the IRL that is very similar to what Lee Janotta has suggested. I have updated it to meet todays changes and new affiliations.

Quote:
IRL & CART - Reconciliation?
Originally Posted at Parc Ferme: 2-May-2001.
Written by Kevin Camp.
Revised: 16-May 2003 by Kevin Camp.

Ever since the schism in North American open wheel racing saw the birth of the Indy Racing League, there has been talk of some sort of reconciliation. CART took with it the star drivers, and the Indy Racing League took with it the crown jewel event in the Indy 500. Over the last few years, numerous talks have yielded little more than illuminating the size of the egos involved and perpetrated the verbal sniping among some of the old guard split by the series.

Some sort of reconciliation needs to be accomplished or neither series will be able to command more than a minor audience and continue to suffer to all other forms of televised sports and entertainment. In order for there to be any sort of reconciliation, certain compromises will need to be met. A split discipline championship is most likely the only way to appease both sides of the coin. A Road Racing Championship, an Oval Racing Championship, and an Overall Championship could be designed to allow drivers to compete in a single discipline or race in both for overall honors.

CART will need to make the most changes in its engine package in order for any mending of the fences. The Indy Racing League mandates a 4.0 liter, normally aspirated V8 package producing approximately 700 horsepower with rev limiters. CART’s current engine package mandates a 2.65 liter, turbocharged V8 engine and limits only the materials used in its construction and the use mechanical springs to actuate the valves. Should CART make the engine package change they would not have to adopt the rev limiter rule and could still allow teams to lease engines from the manufacturers or purchase base engines to be developed by outside vendors. Over the period of a season, lease programs have proven to be similar in cost to privately developed engines by the teams. Even now the IRL has allowed engine leases with the arrival of Honda and Toyota.

CART would need also to drop their current crop of oval races and concentrate their energies in road racing. A championship of 18 road races for a season could be accomplished with races held at nearly every classic road course in America as well as the current street courses on the schedule. Three international events would be on the schedule as well.

Fundidora Park at Monterrey Mexico
The Long Beach Grand Prix
The Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle
The Grand Prix at Portland International Raceway
The Cleveland Grand Prix
The Molson Indy at Toronto
The Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
The Grand Prix at Road America
The Grand Prix of Vancouver
The Grand Prix of Houston
The Laguna Seca Grand Prix
The Grand Prix at Surfer’s Paradise
The Grand Prix of Montreal
The London Trophy Champ Car Grand Prix
The Grand Prix at Estoril
Miami Grand Prix
Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
Road Atlanta
Watkins Glen

Two new events at Road Atlanta and Watkins Glen would make up an incredible schedule of road racing events. Other suitable circuits could be substituted for events that suffer poor attendance. Sears Point Raceway, Lime Rock, and Sebring could easily replace events at Detroit, Vancouver and Watkins Glen should they prove non-feasible. The road races would happen twice a month and allow oval races to be held in between each so that no conflicts would occur between each championship.

The Indy Racing League would need to make a few concessions to bridge the gap as well. Schedule oval events on non-road racing weekends from CART so the teams could campaign both series and contend for overall honors. Fifteen oval events to offset the road races would keep the series balanced. The races would be held at classic and new oval tracks such as…

Nazareth Speedway
The Milwaukee Mile
Michigan International Speedway
Chicago Motor Speedway
California Speedway at Fontana
Phoenix International Speedway
Texas Motor Speedway
Atlanta Motor Speedway
Pikes Peak International Speedway
Kansas Motor Speedway
Nashville Motor Speedway
Kentucky Motor Speedway
Gateway International at St. Louis
Chicagoland Speedway at Joliet
Lowe’s Speedway at Charlotte, North Carolina
Homestead Speedway
Motegi Speedway Japan
Eurospeedway Lausitzring

This would balance the championship with the Indianapolis 500 being the one odd race. This would place open wheel racing on a par with NASCAR by being on TV every weekend, not sporadically as both do now. One thing NASCAR fans have to look forward to every year is that there are only two or three weekends without a race for the entire summer.

A common points schedule would need to be agreed upon as well. The Indy Racing League would also need to relax chassis rules and allow Lola and Reynard to produce chassis for each series along with G-Force, Dallara, and Riley & Scott. All of these firms have excellent experience in oval and road racing and can easily produce competitive chassis for both series. This along with the engine package will encourage cross-pollination of each series and bring them further together. The existing rev limiter rule would be enforced to actively contain speeds at the higher banked ovals and control racer, team and spectator safety.

In order for there to be any sort of competent and organized leadership a new governing body would need to be formed. It should consist of one representative from the CART owners; one representative from the IRL owners; one representative from the track owners; one representative from each engine, chassis and tire manufacturer; one representative from the CART drivers, one representative from the IRL drivers, and one safety expert. This effectively gives every group involved an equal say in the running of the business. The entire group must also then vote to hire a President to oversee the committee and be the public face of the new series. The combined marketing might of the drivers as stars and the venues as some of the world’s most famous arenas would be enough to vault open wheel racing back into the hunt with stock car racing as most popular in North America.

There could be no reconciliation without some sort of concession of behalf of both sides of the coin and surely some low budget teams would suffer. However, the dual championship will allow more and better talent a chance to seek their fortunes in open wheel racing. Far better than either series is currently doing alone.
I am sure that I have omitted some oval events but I could not think of any more tracks. This system could work. It would keep alive the rivalries between drivers, manufacturers and the fans. The old question of who is better would be in question at every event. Oval racer or road racer?

CART could keep the Toyota Atlantic series for a breeding ground for road racers and the IRL's Infiniti Pro Series is working well for the IRL. A unified front could also garner a much better TV package and offer much more to prospective sponsors.
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Old 16 May 2003, 15:18 (Ref:601021)   #7
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It was climb's suggestion, Kevin.

It still wouldn't satisfy the hard-core IRL fans who think things are getting too expensive and there's too little American presence. And any solution that makes the small teams suffer just won't work. You've got to scale back expenses when you're in this position, you can't bank on the economy shooting back up! I'm just pointing some issues that would need to be resolved, the basic idea is sound.

The IRL engine package just wasn't right for CART for several reasons. The motors are just too big and heavy, they're the reason IRL cars almost always go into the wall backwards, which is highly dangerous. You need either a compact pure race motor like CART and F1 currently have, or a physically smaller 4 or 6 cylinder production engine with turbocharging. Plus the IRL cars look ugly as sin, like the ******* child of CART and F3000 cars.

Last edited by Lee Janotta; 16 May 2003 at 15:20.
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Old 16 May 2003, 15:29 (Ref:601029)   #8
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climb should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridclimb should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Quote:
Originally posted by Lee Janotta
It was climb's suggestion, Kevin.

Good precisation Lee!, I was going to an attorney to get my copyrights defended!
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Old 16 May 2003, 15:53 (Ref:601065)   #9
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KC should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridKC should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
I apologize to you both. I should have read closer. I feel like a moron now.

I agree that the 4.0 liter lump used in the IRL right now is part of the handling problem with the current IRL cars. However, a huge portion of that blame goes to the humongous gearbox used. It is twice as large as the boxes used in CART right now. That size difference does not include the crush box mounted on the back of the box either. The IRL uses this common gearbox as a way to make them ultra-reliable and common for all the teams. Reynard and Lola supply the gearboxes with their chassis and they have streamlined them and perfected them over time to the current evolution.

However, after a long time to think about it, I dont think the V10 option is going to be viable. The F1 manufacturers don't care what it costs to develop the engines and if CART mandates their usage then many of the teams may be forced out as they won't be able to purchase or lease engines at the rates that F1 spends. Sure they would be cheaper with aluminum rods and mechanical valvetrains, but the idea of cost reduction to a CART team and to an F1 manufacturer is radically different. The FIA has been after the manufacturers to agree to cost reduction strategies for the last 5 years and they have fought tooth and nail to make it more expensive every single time. I don't see how an alliance with F1 is going to be cheaper for CART in the long run.
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Old 16 May 2003, 17:28 (Ref:601166)   #10
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Liz should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridLiz should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
I don't want the two series to get together; I don't like oval racing and think it's dangerous and boring.

But I agree that nothing can possibly be done until TG has joined the Choir Invisible, because he has scuppered every single suggestion so far that doesn't end in "And Tony George Retains Ultimate Control."
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Old 16 May 2003, 18:22 (Ref:601218)   #11
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Snrub should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridSnrub should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Sounds like some good first steps, but why would the IRL want to do this?

CART puts itself in a vulnrable position by sacrificing tracks in the deal, what does the IRL sacrifice other than scheduling?

The most critical factor is who controls the overall championship?

In terms of financing 30 races is probably too expensive, bringing it down to 20-24 would probably fix the problem. What happends if events are financial losses, how does the race count get balanced? TG really only needs Indy and many of the oval races are not going to be successes regardless if the series semi-merge.

Cost of series: Be vigilent in mandating chasis costs & developments. Lower displacement TURBOCHARGED engines are the way to go. Want to lower the rev limit? Fine, up the boost. We all know CART's current engine is running well under it's capability.

Last edited by Snrub; 16 May 2003 at 18:25.
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Old 16 May 2003, 18:37 (Ref:601225)   #12
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IIRC CART has been willing to seek a compromise on more than one occasion in recent years but each time Tony George has been unwilling to accept the olive branch.

(wasn't it this time last year that Tony made that 'hammer' quote?)
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Old 16 May 2003, 18:41 (Ref:601229)   #13
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Exactly. Which is why Tony George can't be part of the equation. Indy has to be brought to it's knees once again. The guys who supported the split are just as ****ed at TG as we are now since he brought in the Japanese and Brazilians en masse.
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Old 16 May 2003, 19:08 (Ref:601251)   #14
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It may take a longer term solution to neutralize Tony George. The only bargaining chip that TG has is the race and the guaranteed TV contract. It does not matter who is running there right now, it is still one of the most famous races in the world. Despite the perception among CART fans, its name is still as important as LeMans and Daytona.

The IRL will remain on network TV, something that CART must do just to survive. For all the great things that Speedvision has done, it is still basically a premium/pay-per-view channel that is not available in all markets. ABC is available to everyone and to 75% of America on terrestrial antenna for free. It doesn't matter if Sky or TSN runs it live in primetime, if it does not get seen in the US it will not draw sponsors and it will eventually go away. Those are the hard facts of it.

No matter how much we hope and pray and how many alliances are made with Ecclestone or Mercedes or VAG, CART must sell in the US and to do that it must be on TV that everyone has. If that means that half of the season is ovals and part of it includes that one 500 mile race then it must be done. Oval racing is a tradition in CART/Champ Car racing as much as methanol and the lack of fenders are. Otherwise CART will end up right next to Trans Am, on at 3AM on monday mornings in a one hour format and seen only as a specialized form of racing followed by just a few fans. Does anyone want to see CART reduced to being as visible as Formula Ford? Just to hold up a finger to oval racing?
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Old 17 May 2003, 04:16 (Ref:601558)   #15
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Fish_Flake should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridFish_Flake should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridFish_Flake should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
So, what we've seen over the past several days is that:
1. Most of us want to see some sort of reunification between the IRL and CART;
2. Most of us come up with the same ideas to do that, making CART road-course, IRL oval, a combined championship, and identical technical regulations.

So, if we all can look forward in the same direction, what can we as fans do to make progress towards this vision?
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