Is CART racing finished?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by SteveCop, Dec 3, 2003.

  1. SteveCop

    SteveCop Agent

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    Any open wheel racing fans here? It seems the CART series is in trouble and may go bankrupt. I guess this is really not a big surprise, with cancelled races, lost sponsors, and deflections to the IRL. I lost interest in CART a couple of years ago when they cancelled the race at TMS
    on the morning of the race, because the cars were too fast for the track, and then got in a legal battle with TMS
    for the race purse. All is not lost though, as it is being reported that the IRL is about to go racing on ovals AND road courses.

    http://espn.go.com/rpm/cart/2003/1203/1677438.html

    http://sport.guardian.co.uk/motorrac...099248,00.html

    SC
     
  2. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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    Looks like CART is toast. How the mighty have fallen! 10 years ago CART was a world class racing series that was starting to give F1 a run for its money. I just hope that OWRS or someone else picks up the pieces and tries to build a good open wheel road racing series in the US. I'd hate to see the IRL and its ugly low-tech cars be the only option here.
     
  3. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    All this because of the crap started with the Indy 500 race!!

    It's sad.

    but hey, at least a Canadian won the last championship[​IMG]

    B
     
  4. Leroy

    Leroy Second Unit

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    I don't know how either IRL or CART has lasted so long since the split. At least IRL keeps their team costs much lower than CART does. Anyone have attendance figures for each series? I know when they race at Texas (IRL) they draw around 50,000, compare that to the nearly 180,000 that the NASCAR event draws there and I can't see how either series can make any money.

    Funny thing is, that CART/IRL events are so much more fan friendly than NASCAR events. I've been to several NASCAR races and have yet to get anywhere near any of the drivers for an autograph or even a pic, but at the last CART event in Houston we got to walk within a few feet of the cars and met and shook hands with several of the drivers.

    For oval racing give me NASCAR any day, but for road races I still love watching CART/F1. It's too bad IRL/CART can't get past their differences and form one solid unit again.
     
  5. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    The 2003 Toronto Indy had a weekend attendance of 167,352(that's 3 days)

    Same with anything, smoe markets are fantastic while others are crappy!

    B
     
  6. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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    CART seems to get very good attendance at most/all of its street/road course events and poor attendance at the ovals. The IRL seems to get mediocre to poor attendance at most of its events. Both series get crappy TV ratings in the US. The difference is that the IRL is owned by an individual with deep pockets, so it doesn't have to make a profit (and by all accounts it doesn't). CART's biggest mistake (IMO) was going public.

    It seems to me that there is room for a US/NAFTA-based top-level open wheel road/street racing series. (Personally I don't care for oval racing so I'd be all for them dropping the ovals and in any case oval racing is only really popular in the US, and most oval fans prefer NASCAR). So I hope that something emerges from the wreckage that can fill that void.
     
  7. Eric Paddon

    Eric Paddon Screenwriter

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    Indy Car racing was an obsession of mine for many years, but in the early to mid-90s the luster faded for two reasons.

    One was the en masse retirements of all of the Old Guard that stretched back the 60s and 70s. Indy Car racing for a long, long time meant A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Gordon Johncock, Johnny Rutherford, Tom Sneva the Unser brothers and suddenly all of them seemed to be gone at once.

    And second, the CART-IRL split, but to be honest I blame this one entirely on CART. CART, under the leadership of Roger Penske was IMO ruining competition in open-wheel racing by seeing to it that only a few elite teams kept dominating year after year, and also they had shifted the schedule to 75% road and street course races, thus insuring that the new generation of CART drivers were all of a foreign background. So long as the Old Guard was still around, there were people for me to still cheer for but once you had all the retirements, goodbye to that.

    In 1982, the CART schedule was 9 ovals and 3 road races. A decade later the ratio was practically revered in more races. To me, that more then anything else destroyed what Indy racing was all about and left Tony George with no choice but to do what he did. And then CART had to get all indignant at the start and run that joke of a race on the same day as the 96 Indy 500 and then demonstrated what a sham their rules were when they had the pace lap disaster but allowed the polesitter to start a backup car from the pole and win the race, which could NEVER happen in the Indy 500. If you crash your car in the pace lap, you should be out, period.
     
  8. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

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    The IRL will survive as long as it has the Indy 500. If CART folds, its remaining marquee drivers and teams will have no choice but to defect to the IRL.

    And, the IRL is supposedly considering incorporating some road course races. Ultimately, the IRL will probably morph into what CART should have been had the owners not messed it up.

    I frankly prefer the IRL all-oval format myself. I think American open-wheelers were built for all-out speed, not low-speed turning. Leave the road courses to the sports cars, who do it better anyway.
     
  9. Mark Hamilton

    Mark Hamilton Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, Molson, the company that essentially runs the massively succesfull Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal CART events, has apparently had many discussions with IRL over the past 15 months about bringing those three road races to that series in the event that CART dies.

    I have never been a fan of the IRL. I despise oval racing and I hate the fact that, like Nascar, IRL features little innovation. F1, CART, and especially the WRC are the racing series that I most prefer. If CART dies, it will be a sad day. I'd love to see a single open-wheel racing series in North America (in addition to our two F1 events). CART has made major international strides (Canada, US, Mexico, Japan, Australia, Europe, and eventually the ROK). IRL seems happy with a stagnant domestic base. Oval-based racing really has no home outside of the US.
     
  10. Eric Paddon

    Eric Paddon Screenwriter

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    Oval racing *is* what true open-wheel racing is all about, centered in the Indianapolis 500, which no matter what any NASCAR fan says, is still and always will be as the late Sid Collins, radio voice of the 500 said, "The greatest spectacle in racing."

    To me, there is nothing more boring then a street race with little passing or flat-out competition. An open-wheel oval track race, producing exciting finishes like the 1982, 89 and 92 Indy 500s is what auto racing is *really* all about and the CART obsession with street and road racing did Indy Car racing no favors.
     
  11. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    Is there a site that explains the differences between all the formats: IRL, CART, F1, etc ?

    I've got to admit I'm more of a Nascar fan, but only because I worked/volunteered at Daytona for a short time. The pure speed, acceleration and manveuverability of the Open-Wheel cars seems like it should have better "excitment potential" than NASCAR, given the right track.
     
  12. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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  13. AjayM

    AjayM Screenwriter

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  14. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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    Kirk:

    I found this basic comparison table: CBS Sportsline

    There is at least one error in it though, the actual top speed of an F1 car is about 225 mph. Theoretically they might be able to do 260, but not on any track they actually race at.
     
  15. Eric Paddon

    Eric Paddon Screenwriter

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    "Rubbish. That may be what *you* prefer, but open-wheel racing is global phenomenon and is NOT centered on any one race."

    This is another reason why I don't care much for the road-racing advocates since there's always the condescending disdain for the Indy 500, which like it or not *is* what open wheel racing is all about. The reason why CART went into decline and lost the war with the IRL is because they foolishly thought they could live without the Indy 500 and they thought wrong.
     
  16. Eric Paddon

    Eric Paddon Screenwriter

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    "Open wheel cars and oval racing is a very risky business, look at the injury stats between CART on ovals and the IRL compared with CART and F1 on street/road courses, it's an eye opening difference."

    Toronto 1996: A CART driver was killed on the street course.

    And as for oval fatalities, it's more telling it's happened more in CART (Greg Moore) than the IRL which was created to reduce speed and create more competition whereas CART under Penske was getting more and more out of control in the speed department.
     
  17. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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  18. Jason GT

    Jason GT Second Unit

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    I understand people get passionate about their racing, but keeping it civil might be a good idea [​IMG]

     
  19. AjayM

    AjayM Screenwriter

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  20. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

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