Cancel the Minardi name from the guest list, as autosport.com says team owner Paul Stoddart has decided against fielding the team in the IRL this season.
When asked by autosport.com, he said: "I did enough tugging round at the back to know I don't want to do it again. I had a taste of victory last year and it was very nice, so I'll just take a sabbatical and see what happens.A good competitive streak by Mr Stoddart is appreciated, and truthfully there are huge hurdles the CCWS refugees have to overcome in a very short time. But that being said, don't whine about not being able to win. I mean really, take a number for that line.
"I think realistically 2010 is the first opportunity for Champ Car teams to become competitive, when the new car comes."
"What happened was good for North American motorsport, it had to happen. But it wasn't beneficial for any of the Champ Car teams. In anything like this there are winners and losers and all the Champ Car teams were the losers.
(MORE from autosport.com)
Losing is frustrating and knowing you're probably going to lose is taxing, but using either of those as an excuse to leave the track is weak. If you want to race, then race. Period. Besides, with what looks like eight non-ovals on the schedule this year Minardi's odds wouldn't have been all that bad to put together a few very good finishes.
I don't know Mr Stoddart or his level of pride but maybe what he says and what he means are two different things, and that like so many other would-be competitors this is ultimately an issue of insufficient funds. I do know that even with a new chassis design on the horizon that up and joining the series in 2010 is still not going to be any easier. Might as well start getting track experience and technical data now while the free basket of goodies is sitting on the table.
UPDATE: Hold the phone!
"We're taking delivery of our car today," team owner Keith Wiggins said Tuesday. "I won't deny that it's a struggle, but we're doing our best to get one car on the grid for the first race."
Wiggins, whose principle partner in the Champ Car team, Paul Stoddart, has left, will carry on with the team that doesn't even have a name yet. Stoddart took the Minardi Team USA name with him and Wiggins said he will likely go back to the team's previous name - HVM Racing.
But, whatever the team is called, he's determined to keep it going and to eventually be competitive.
"We all know it's a tough deal, a lot of scrambling because of timing and the situation," he said. "But the bigger picture is where the significance of what happened is pretty dramatic.
(MORE from Canadian Press)