Monday, December 22, 2008

More Bad News

Whale I suppose by now, Y’all have heard that Roger Penske has pulled the plug upon his pet project: The Raceway at Belle Isle, and therefore the 2009 IRL Labor Day event has been cancelled. This was due in large part to The Captain simply not wishing to spend anymore of his own money, along with the fact that various sponsors and race teams have departed, as Firestone has left as well as Audi and Porsche “Works” efforts from the race weekend’s supporting cast, the ALMS.

WRC teams withdraw
Adding a further blow to the global motor racing scene, comes news that both Suzuki and Subaru have decided to withdraw from the World Rally Championship and will cease their factory team’s competition immediately. This is a major blow for the WRC and now leaves only two Automobile manufacturers competing: Ford and Citroen.

And although Suzuki’s decision isn’t surprising, as they’ve generally been back markers, having only contested last season, Subaru’s whole motor sports image has long revolved around rallying, having won six WRC titles. So it will be a bitter pill for the WRC to swallow.

Will WRC’s loss be F1’s gain?
And with the departure of Subaru from rallying, whose ‘Works” efforts have long been overseen by David Richards Prodrive operation, is this a signal that Richards may be on the verge of buying the departing Honda F1 outfit? Recall that it was Richards who brought Honda its best season’s results by finishing runner-up to Ferrari in the Constructors championship in 2004, before ironically, current team boss Nick Frye sent Richards packing. So, who’ll have the last laugh? Although Richards could now have competition to buy the Brackley based squad from Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and the Korean Auto manufacturer Hyundai?