Open Wheel 2003 (F1, CART, IRL)

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Michael St. Clair, Feb 22, 2003.

  1. Michael St. Clair

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    Wow, racing is upon us...the first Champ Car (CART) race of the season is tomorrow in St. Petersburg. Now I don't have to watch all of the tin-top races.

    F1. Well, I think the rules changes are a good thing. I want to see some better racing. Of course some Ferrari fans will say it is all sour grapes, but the fact is that F1 is getting into a financially precarious position, and the lack of competiveness isn't going to help that in the long run. Heck, I still think Ferrari will win easily this year, but the changes in qualifying, practice, and pre-race are going to make things real interesting. I might go back to watching all of the races (I quit that habit last year).

    Champ Car. Some very talented rookies, no traction control, and a more positive vibe than last year makes this year look like it could be the most fun season in a while. The talent of Ganassi and Green will be missed but the politics will not. It was exciting to see Bourdais make his first rookie debut race pole since Mansell. This guy could be the next Michael Schumacher, and I'm not just talking about racing...his personality will fit right in with F1 as well. With Tracy next to him and Carpentier behind him, I can't wait to see what happens at the first turn tomorrow!

    IndyCar (IRL). Honda money, Toyota money. Can Chevy keep up? And if they can't, will the IRL do something to try and level the field without pissing off the Pacific rim competition? I honestly don't think Panther/Hornisch have a chance this year. Ganassi will hit hard with more drivers and much more money in this series than ever. Team Green without Barry Green and Kool isn't the same IMO, but Kanaan and Franchitti are true assets. Andretti will be sulking around too much for my taste, as usual. Is the little guy getting squeezed out? I was a bit surprised to see Sarah Fisher still not having enough money to run all races.

    Let's go racing!
     
  2. Mario Bartel

    Mario Bartel Stunt Coordinator

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    Bourdais looks like the real deal. And some of that crazy F3000 racing appears to be the perfect training ground for the unforgiving confines of many of ChampCar's circuits. I'm sure glad Speed showed us those replays of last year's F3000 season, so we could actually see some of these new guys, Bourdais, Camathias, Haberfeld and Monteiro, in action before they hit North America.

    As for the IRL, around and around they go, who cares? I will miss those Ashley Judd sightings at the CART races I do get to, though...[​IMG]
     
  3. Michael St. Clair

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    Junquiera might have been rattled by Bourdais...he may have been trying a bit too hard when he caused his red flag.

    The circuit at St. Pete looks very good, better than Miami. I'm kicking myself a bit for not going down for the weekend, a thought I entertained over the holidays. If I go to any races that require a domestic flight next year, St. Pete will likely be high on my list of candidates.

    Tomorrow's race could be a very good one. Those who missed the early races of a Montoya or Villeneuve ought to turn in so that years from now you can say you remember watching Bourdais' first Champ Car race. [​IMG]
     
  4. Michael Varacin

    Michael Varacin Stunt Coordinator

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    "I was a bit surprised to see Sarah Fisher still not having enough money to run all races."

    Although it seems like it should be easier for a female to find money simply due to the increased attention, it echoes the sad state of the motor sports world. On the other hand, Sarah's rep is not the greatest. I think that Danica Patrick will be the first real female threat. Give her about two years.

    As far as Bourdias, let's not forget about who he is driving with as well. Newman Hass is probably the only big money team left in CART right now. They cleaned up last year, and would expect them to pick up right were they left off. A lot of credit has to go to the team for getting Bourdias up there. Newman Haas has found something that the other teams have not yet. Look for them to be hard to beat again this year.

    The IRL is going to be tough this year. The sad part is, the whole concept behind that series is now shot. Big money and foreign drivers are in, small teams, American drivers are out. Great to watch, but disappointing for those of us trying to make a career driving.

    Either way, racing season is here!
     
  5. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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    F1: The new rules will be interesting especially with qualifying. I suppose they are hoping that some of the smaller teams will run light to get exposure at the front of the grid. All in all I'm glad that they are cutting back on stuff like 2-way telemetry and traction control, just so long as they don't go too far. They should force all the teams to do the Friday testing thing IMO. No 40 or 50 days of three or 4 cars testing for Ferrari and more for the fans to see during the weekend.

    CART: Great start to the season! St. Pete is a street course done right. Shame about Bourdais though. It will be very interesting to watch his progress.

    IRL: Don't care, won't be watching.

    Bring on Melbourne I can't wait for the racing season to start!!! [​IMG]


    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Screenwriter

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    Reports say that the IRL has only sold 2800 tickets to their Homestead Race next week and that they are in a massive panic to giveaway tickets to avoid a potential PR disaster.

    Combine that with the huge crowds in St. Pete yesterday (I've heard anywhere from 60,000-74,000) and I think it's safe to say that CART is alive and well and that even with all the defections, the IRL still can't attract fans unless they are packaged with Winston Cup tickets.

    Here's a few photos from an IRL sponsored concert in downtown Miami last week. As you can see, no one showed up.

    http://www.autoracing1.com/Images/20.../IRLMiami1.jpg

    http://www.autoracing1.com/Images/20.../IRLMiami2.jpg

    http://www.autoracing1.com/Images/20.../IRLMiami3.jpg

    Jeff
     
  7. Shane Bos

    Shane Bos Second Unit

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    Big win for Team Canada Oops I mean Team Players on the CART circuit today.

    WTG Paul Tracy.
     
  8. Mario Bartel

    Mario Bartel Stunt Coordinator

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  9. AjayM

    AjayM Screenwriter

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    F1: I like some of the ideas behind the new rules, and some of them are just plain and stupid. I like the 1 lap qualifying, that ought to shake up the grid quite a bit. Now you have to decide if you push it and risk a mistake or ease back a little and hope you can push through the grid. What's bad is they've done away with Q-cars, so the car you see in the race is the same exact car in qual's, which is going to suck pretty bad as Ferrari is going to dominate just as bad this year as last year (at least by looking at the testing so far). So I don't think we'll see Williams and Montoya on pole as much this year, because he won't have a 20k rpm "ringer" engine to put him up there. Plus the rules about fuel levels being kept between qualifying on Sat and race on Sunday are going to help Ferrari, not kill them. If they really do have a car that is 1-5 seconds a lap faster than the rest of the field (remember Austria last year - lap 5 they were 20+ seconds ahead), they can qualify on the last row and still win the race easily. It'll be another race for 2nd place in the Const Champ between Williams and McLaren, and then the rest of the field which is where all the action will be. BAR and Jaguar are looking good so far which is a plus.

    CART: Wow, that was a suprisingly good race. Not as much passing as I had hoped, but none the less. The rookies looked real good out there, no truly bone-headed stupid moves, and that Sebastian guy can fly. And it's not just the car (as evident by his team-mate barely being able to keep up), if he can get past the rookie mistakes he's going to go REAL far in racing, if I were at Ferrari I'd be looking at him REAL close in the next few months to carry on after Schumacher retires.

    IRL: Are they still racing? I'm not a big fan of oval racing, I may catch the Indy 500 and maybe the season ending race if the championship is close and their are people I'd like to see win, other than that I don't watch it.

    Andrew
     
  10. Michael St. Clair

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  11. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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  12. Michael St. Clair

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    IRL update - this week's Homestead race has 22 cars registered (including Sarah Fisher after a last-minute single-race sponsorship was secured). They had 26 cars last year, and in the off-season Brian Barnhart bragged that they would have 30 this year. Guess that didn't happen.

    But hey, everything is looking up for the IRL and CART is dead, right? [​IMG]
     
  13. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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    The CART/F1 rumors just won't go away. Take this with a giant boulder of salt, its just an Internet rumor, but:

     
  14. AjayM

    AjayM Screenwriter

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    There's been a lot of F1/CART rumors floating around. Bernie visited a race last year here in Miami, Pook and Bernie are pretty good friends, etc. Then there are these types of rumors around;

    Forsythe and Pollock hope to merge CART with F1

    Gerry Forsythe, believes there are too many benefits not to pursue a plan that would see CART and F1 join forces. Forsythe, the largest single shareholder of CART, controlling 24.9% of the stock, believes it could work.

    I think a partnership between F-1 and CART would be totally beneficial for CART," Forsythe said. "I think that taking CART private would be a good thing. With the right partnership, it would be much better for CART than the way it's structured now."

    Bernie Ecclestone is rumored to be interested in acquiring all of the CART stock making the series a privatized company again.

    "There are a lot of synergies that could be put to work for both series," Forsythe said. "I put together 19 pages of what I thought would be the benefits for F-1 and CART (in October) in a partnership. At some point I would like to see that happen,"

    Craig Pollock, majority owner of PK Racing, agrees.

    I think it's a good thing," Pollock said. "For CART there are some hugely positive things in a future that would see them as one entity (with F-1)."

    "We can take the positive things from Formula One and build them into CART," he said. "And I think that's what we're going to do."


    And on another note, not that there was any doubt but it looks like we'll be seeing lots of red at the front of the field again this year. Testing at Jerez with M Schumacher and Montoya wrapped up yesterday, JPM in the new car was just a mere 3 seconds slower than the F2003-GA car...per lap. In other testing earlier the McLaren and the Williams were pretty close in terms of testing with maybe a slight edge to the McLaren boys. Of course this is testing and doesn't mean a whole lot for the season.

    Andrew
     
  15. Michael St. Clair

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    Is there any interest in a new F1 ESPN Fantasy league this year?
     
  16. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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  17. Michael St. Clair

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    Um, points in the league are from predicting the top six, in order, for each race. [​IMG]
     
  18. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Screenwriter

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  19. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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    Speed Channel just announced it got a 3 year deal to show F1. All races will be live on Speed this year (including the USGP) no Mickey Mouse coverage on ABC! And best of all they are getting 1 hour recaps of each race of the 1993 season! We'll get to relive a great Prost vs. Senna battle and be reminded of just how bad Michael Andretti was!

     
  20. Marque D

    Marque D Stunt Coordinator

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    After today I officially love the new rules changes in F1. As much of a McLaren fan as I am it was awesome to see Renault sweep the front row. I've never cheered during qualifying.
     

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