This is still an IRL site

Posted by Iannucci | 2/10/2008 | 11 comments »
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...but that doesn't mean there isn't some relevant info worth relaying from Champ Car.

First, this weekend the Minardi team took the unusual step of releasing a statement on the whole development, including some very optimistic wording.

In common with other teams competing in the Champ Car World Series, Minardi Team USA is aware of the latest news regarding the possible merger of the Series with the Indy Racing League. Minardi Team USA views this as potentially a very positive development for the future of North American open-wheel racing. As with any major business deal, however, the devil is in the detail, and we understand there are still a number of important matters that remain to be resolved, not least of which is negotiating a suitable 2008 schedule. There are some very good, experienced people working on finding solutions to the outstanding issues, however, and like everyone who is passionate about open-wheel racing in this country, we hope their efforts will be successful. We now await further developments.
Note that didn't exactly say "we're fine no matter how this turns out".

Meanwhile Robin reported on SpeedTV tonight that the Walker team has a Dallara in their shop right now. Reader John E quickly alerts us to the Walker Racing site, which reads:

Walker Racing seeks new employees for 2008 expansion of open wheel programs

Track Engineers with experience in Indy Car, Champ Car, Atlantic,
Indy Pro Series or Star Mazda.

Mechanics with two years of experience in Indy Car, Champ Car,
Atlantic, Indy Pro Series, Star Mazda or Formula BMW.


So if you happen to see Arni the Indy Insider walking around with a sign that says "THE END IS NEAR!", you know why.

UPDATE: USAToday confirms that Walker Racing has a Dallara and is looking at returning to the IRL regardless.

"We're just a small company who is trying to sell our wares, which for us is getting sponsors and going racing," said (Derrick) Walker, who is in discussion to keep his drivers (Will Power and Simon Pagenaud) and main sponsor (Aussie Vineyards) on board if he makes the transition. "That's our business. So we had to look at the IRL and look at the Indy 500, which we thought had a comeback year in 2007."

11 comments

  1. Zappatista // February 10, 2008 10:04 PM  

    IRL, just watched the "Sports Locker" on RTV6 here in Naptown. Miller and Derrick Walker were guests, and they showed footage of a Dallara sitting in the shop. Walker commented that he had asked the IRL if any one had a spare that they could look over to get an idea of the car. (I think it was PJ Jones's from a couple of years ago, but could be wrong) Walker made statements to the affect that he was preparing to be in BOTH series's if needed, but thought that they were going to get it worked out for this year. Miller reported that he has emailed TG a dozen times today, as it is only 1:30 in the afternoon and he wants to hear something. It was quite interesting.

  2. Doug // February 11, 2008 6:44 AM  

    Well, with luck by the end of the week we'll all be IRL. :D I've got my fingers crossed for an amiable solution for all parties. A happy reunion would provide the healthiest footing from which to rebuild AOWR's status. However, if it takes the conversion of CCWS teams like Walker and/or NHL first, then so be it.

    At any rate, here's to another week of reduced productivity as I cruise the forums, blogs, and news sites gobbling up any piece of info I can get my hands on. :)

  3. john edward // February 11, 2008 6:58 AM  

    doug,

    I recently discovered how to setup Google news alerts... It helps me find some news about things, but either way, I'll not get much done this week, either. =)

  4. John // February 11, 2008 7:07 AM  

    That's the consensus. Lack of productivity. But it's worth it. I've already checked all the blogs, websites, and forums several times this morning, fishing for information on the meeting in Japan. I'm assuming TG didn't reply to any of Robin's text messages. Yeah, I wonder why?

  5. mmack // February 11, 2008 7:15 AM  

    Miller reported that he has emailed TG a dozen times today, as it is only 1:30 in the afternoon and he wants to hear something.

    Zappatista, if Tony George has figured out how to use Outlook, I'm guessing anything from Robin Miller goes into the trash, or hits the Spam Filter. :^)

    As for Walker, IF this war comes to an end, he may have been the final piece to the puzzle. His absence at "Spring Training" in Sebring last week meant the Amigos were staring down the barrel of a potential 15 - 16 car CCWS field, that is, if THEY wanted to pay out for the extra cars. Remember that sans Walker, they could only scrape up 14 cars, and Gerry Forsythe was playing his annual "will he, won't he?" guessing game on a third car from his team. One wonders if open wheel's DW finally forced the Three Amigos to show their hand.

  6. mmack // February 11, 2008 7:19 AM  

    "This is still an IRL site"

    Jeff,

    That "My Name is Pressdog" merger story Miller was reporting on SpeedTV.com finally fell through, eh? He said that you were going to give 'Dog a free server and complete editorial freedom if he joined your site.

    :^P

  7. pressdog // February 11, 2008 7:58 AM  

    LOL. Unfortunately, it's my policy to only go with triple-confirmed, on-the-record sources who allow me to post their social security numbers along with their names, addresses and previous three (3) employers. First, Walker is no idiot. He knows if the merger/acquisition happens, if he has a head start on the Dallara he's automatically ahead of the CC teams. Second, if two or three CCWS teams bolt, KK is done no matter how pissy he is about media leaks. Finally, Jeff definitely has Champ Car Fever.

  8. Jeff Iannucci // February 11, 2008 8:01 AM  

    Fortunately there may soon be a cure for "Champ Car Fever".

  9. John Edward // February 11, 2008 8:03 AM  

    >> Fortunately there may soon be a cure for "Champ Car Fever".


    ??? do you know something we don't?

    =)

  10. Tabernerus // February 11, 2008 9:33 AM  

    Man, maybe Walker looking at the IRL was the tipping point needed. Huh. OK, then. *fingers crossed*

  11. John Edward // February 11, 2008 9:59 AM  

    One series to rule them all, One series to find them, One series to bring them all and in the darkness bind them!