Thursday, April 19, 2007

Open Wheel Pundits (Part 2)

And not to be forgotten is Robin Miller who also had a few interesting tidbits to mention about Champ Car on wind Tunnel.

Apparently there seems to possibly be some unrest between the current owners of Champ Car. Originally Dan Petitt was the “P” in PKV Racing alongside Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser.

Kalkhoven and Petitt made their fortunes together in Silicon Valley, yet there have been rumours of Petitt filing a potential lawsuit against Kalkhoven in regards to the parting of ways from PKV. Of course this is all conjecture as Miller claims that Gerry Forsythe said “NO, they're just kids who hate each other 6 months out of the year…”

Then there’s the part about Paul Stoddart wanting to run his precious two seaters in America. But Forsythe said I’m not gonna pay $2.4 million to run a bunch of obsolete Formula 1 cars… Which Kalkhoven replied: “If you don’t pay for half of it then we’ll only have 15 cars instead of 17!”

So Miller claims that there appears to be a mild tussle in Champ Car’s hierarchy with Petitt, Forsythe and Paul Gentilozzi ganging up on Kalkhoven. “And that’s why it’s such a Wonderful, Happy Open Wheel series…”

Ron Le Masters asked Miller if there was a report card on the new Panoz? “Yeah, the mechanics would probably give it a “D” for Difficulty to work on. There’s been problems with leaky fuel cells, refueling equipment and a bunch of tubs cracking.”

“I don’t know if this had anything to do with Tracy’s accident, but you’ve got to remember that in 2005 Buddy Rice, Paul Dana and Bruno Junqueira all broke their backs in a Panoz IRL chassis.”

“Is it the seat, the seating position or the way things are mounted? Or is the nose simply not giving enough? The Panoz DP-01 is fast, looks good and I hope it’s just a fluke with Tracy, but you’ve got to wonder about the Panoz when the star of your series gets injured at 35mph…”

It was great to see Miller interviewing Cristiano da Matta, who as Miller noted has made a remarkable recovery. In fact Da Matta has recovered so quickly that the doctor’s don’t know when to release him to return to racing. Da Matta also waved the green flag for the start of the Long Beach Grand Prix, so may be that’s why the field was so strung out?