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December 04, 2012

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Ted Wolfram

Just one more shoe that drops....when are the owners of the IRL dba as IndyCar going to come to the realization that their series is slowing sinking into oblivion?

Closing the office in LA is another admission that there is little interest in trying something new and different.

I talk to fewer and fewer people who give a poop, in fact most feel it will only improve if the IRL goes bankrupt...taking all the contracts with it, and a new series being born with INNOVATION as it's primary goal and under a strict cost control formula....which would bring new teams and new ideas.

crazyfbs

I wonder if Star Mazda is trying to sell itself because Mazda has stopped production of rotary engines. Not that Mazda actual makes the engines for the series, but did all the R&D work on them, in fact I bet Mazda is the only company that has done R&D on a truly radical engine since the mid-70s and then used the work in production. This also begets the question, "Why did Mazda not want to make an engine to run in the Indy 500?" I would have thought that they would have at least put one team under sponsorship at the IICS level given that they are the sponsors for the entire Road to Indy system.

FTHurley

There is no room in the market for a full-season open wheel racing series when NASCAR puts 100+ races on live TV every years. Having a full multi-tiered ladder system sounds great, but it's just not a justifiable structure given IndyCar's popularity. I'm increasing of the opinion that the future of IndyCar will be a small number of high-profile events throughout the years with much larger purses. Get ready for the six-race-long IndyCar Series. And no, I'm not saying that with a defeatist tone. I think it's a good thing.

redcar

Couldn't they use this as an opportunity to restructure the minor league series to make it simpler, cheaper, more understandable. And to make the Cooper series and Lights stronger?

(I don't know enough about it, but--for example--could you run two "classes" in Cooper like sports cars?)

Roggespierre

This makes perfect sense from an economic perspective. What justification could there possibly be for a three-rung system that feeds a sport that draws fewer than 300K television viewers?

There is none.

The market value of IndyCar is in line with the cost of F2000. Until that problem is solved, the news will continue to be the norm.

Chris Lukens

One more road racing series to go TU. Add them to the list of F-5000, Can-Am, Trans-Am (twice), CART (also twice), ALMS, and a few more I can’t remember right now.
The only time I saw the Star Mazda’s race was at PPIR before an INDYCAR race. They were touring the track at 150-160 mph. The speed surprised me as I was expecting slightly better than F-Ford performance. The point is they were running the SAME speed as the USAC sprint cars, and the sprint cars had to run a spacer in the injectors to slow them down.

bradman

A "feeder series" can only be called such if it actually does "feed" drivers into the next level. How much has that really happened in IndyCar? As soon as a second-tier F1 driver looses his ride everyone yells "Come to IndyCar!" So much for the youngsters in the lower series moving up. The cold reality is that talented drivers are a dime a dozen, its sponsorship money to fund a team that is in short supply. That being the case, in actuality, there is no need for "feeder series"; "support series" to flesh out a race weekend, sure; but "feeder series"? I'm not seeing it.

Borland1023

Has the IRL gone so far down the rung that they can't get a rental hall for a weekend date? To me, that was the big news here. Mazda? I didn't even know they still had that series.

The Speedgeek

Erm, it appears that Dan Anderson believes that there's a place for the middle rung of the ladder, seeing as how it was just relaunched today as the Pro Mazda Championship. Here's all the economic justification necessary: there are easily 20-30 kids out there who either have rich daddies or can scrape together a few hundred thousand bucks in sponsorship from companies (either family owned or who are happy to get exposure from the 50,000 or so people who see the series in person, since the TV package is so hard to find). Presto, viable economic model.

Look, I'm not super thrilled about IndyCar's long term prospects at the moment, and Lights obviously needs a much cheaper car before it'll be fully relevant again, but the ladder system as a whole, and the SM/PMC and USF2000 series themselves are not broken. Those series' car counts last year should tell you all you need to know about that. Folks can probably quit stressing out about either of those.

Now, on to fixing some actual problems, right?

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