Thursday, February 28, 2008

Tracy frozen out?

Talk about taking the shine off of Open Wheel Racing’s just concluded press conference officially announcing the consolidation of Champ Car and the IRL, as Forsythe Petitt Racing has dropped a bombshell…

With FPR’s Neil Micklewright announcing that the team would NOT be joining the 2008 Indy Car Series, as the team was unable to find the necessary sponsorship dollars to go forward, thus leaving CCWS’s elder statesman and most colourful driver Paul Tracy without a ride…

Yet, reportedly team owner Gerald Forsythe, who was the third signatory in the just completed takeover, has been throwing millions of his own cash into the running of Champ Car since its purchase from bankruptcy and one has to wonder why Gerry would suddenly pull such a ridiculous stunt, as we’ve all been led to believe that Paul Gentilozzi has been the one causing the most friction towards moving Open Wheel Racing forward.

And talk about your strange days as the Four Moosketeers who owned Champ Car have seemingly gone their separate (twisted) ways… As Dan Petitt seems to be taking it in the chops after his falling out with first Paul Gentilozzi and then Kevin Kalkhoven, or was it visa versa?

Petitt was the P in PKV Racing which Kalkhoven noted was now KV Racing during the hug-fest Wednesday. Last season Petitt and Gentilozzi formed RSPORTS, in order to merge their single car efforts into a two car operation before splitting towards the end of the season. Petitt then joined Forsythe Championship Racing who were expected to run a two car squad this season in CCWS…

Having the opportunity to attend my very first Champ Car Fan Forum last June in Portland, our guest driver was none other than the court jester himself, Paul “Chrome Horn” Tracy and it was pure entertainment to listen to him that evening. Thus I truly hope that ‘Ol PT will not be left out in the cold and indeed find new employment in Indy Car this season.

It will be interesting to see how this makes the dominoes fall as it would be nice to think Tracy can still command the necessary sponsorship backing to land a seat. Would KV Racing be willing to pick him up or would that strain his relationship with long time friend Jimmy Vasser? As I’d expected Alex Tagliani to fill their second seat, then again what about Team Minardi USA or Derrick Walker stepping up to a two car effort, or hell, how about Panther Racing making the leap?

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