F1 blogs review: Champ Car and IRL merge

Bobby Rahal, Long Beach, 1986, CART Indy Car | Ford MediaThe Champ Car World Series and Indy Racing League have ended their 12-year feud and joined back together, a move that could have interesting consequences for Formula 1.

Also in the F1 blogs this week, video of Juan Pablo Montoya wrestling, Spyker describe Formula 1 as a ‘massive bleeder’, F1 Racing gets a new editor from a men’s glamour magazine, and a shameless plug for my latest guest article.

Champ Car and IRL end war and confirm merger – Until 1995 the CART IndyCar series was the biggest rival to F1. It then split into two championships, ruining open wheel racing in America, until finally yesterday they announced an historic merger.

So ya wanna hate on Montoya, do ya? – Now firmly ensconced back in the United States, Juan Pablo Montoya has raised his profile by appearing in a popular wrestling series and smacking a fighter with a chair in time-honoured tradition. This video is from a few days ago, so all the jokes about NASCAR being just as much of a fix as wrestling have probably already been made.

Watch the action below – he looks tiny! And somehow slightly embarrassed…

Spyker recovering from F1 blunder – Dutch sportscar manufacturer Spyker describe F1 as a “massive bleeder” that cost them ??2m per month, partly due to unfulfilled sponsorship payments.

Can two wrongs make a successful racing series? – The easiest way to get a plug on this site is to link to me. This even works if you’re one of the world’s most famous newspapers!

I heart Franck – Not content with rapidly growing into media giants of the F1 world, the Sidepodcast team are now spinning off websites about drivers they like. I would, however, like to lay claim to having Hearted Franck at least as long as they have: In praise of Franck Montagny.

Peugeot recruiting from F1: How many ex-Formula 1 racers are driving at Le Mans for Peugeot this year? Deep breath: Marc Gene (Minardi, Williams, currently Ferrari tester), Christian Klien (Jaguar/Red Bull, currently Honda tester), Pedro Lamy (Lotus, Minardi), Franck Montagny (Super Aguri), Stephane Sarrazin (Minardi, bonus point if you can name his single race start), Alexander Wurz (Benetton, McLaren, Williams, currently Honda tester), Ricardo Zonta (BAR, Jordan, toyota), and Jacques Villeneuve (Williams, BAR, Renault, Sauber, BMW).

How about a green prix at Singapore? – More thoughts on the Singapore night race and the environment.

The commercials – Guest post on F1 Insight.

Choose your words carefully, Bernie – Alan Henry warns Bernie Ecclestone following the tycoon’s comments on the racism row.

27 days until the Australian Grand Prix – Another instalment in this great countdown: head over to this blog today to read my guest post on number 21.

Time for a brief update – An Australian fan keeps an eye on the progress of construction of the circuit at Melbourne. How many more Grands Prix will there be at the track?

Fernando finally speaks – More on Alonso’s dismissal of the racism row.

A breath of fresh air from F1 Racing – Doctorvee likes the editorial style of F1 Racing’s interim editor but is worried about the background of the new man in charge.

Fake Ferrari News - If anyone’s wondering why this great blog appears to have disappeared, never fear, they just seem to have moved!

Photo copyright: Ford Media

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13 comments on F1 blogs review: Champ Car and IRL merge

  1. That footage of Montoya is the oddest thing I’ve ever seen.

  2. Robert McKay said on 23rd February 2008, 11:01

    Coming soon: Lewis Hamilton takes on Giant Haystacks. Maybe :-D

  3. frecon said on 23rd February 2008, 11:57

    Definitely, Juan Pablo is the best showman. He is the best in the track and out the track.

    In the Champcar calendar it was a race in Spain (Jerez). I was thinking in going to Jerez that day, but also there was a rumour which says if Champcar and Indy merge, jerez could be out of the new calendar. Anyone knows something?

  4. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 23rd February 2008, 12:05

    Champ Car went to Zolder (Belgium) and Assen (Netherlands) last year and were supposed to this year. But I would be very surprised if the European rounds were carried onto the IRL calendar and I don’t think they’ll be adding a Jerez event.

    Which is a shame for Jerez, because I don’t think it sees any top single-seater series these days. But I do think it’s much better suited to motorbike racing than cars.

  5. frecon said on 23rd February 2008, 14:04

    I’m very confused. In the 2008 race events of the Champ Car website
    http://www.champcarworldseries.com/Event/EventSchedule.asp?Year=2008

    is schelued Jerez, but the info about the event was erased, so i think Jerez could be out of the calendar. I guess if a new category is going to be created, this info is no valid anymore. I was very exicted with going to Jerez champ car race.

  6. How come F1 doesn’t race at Jerez any more? It’s clearly safe enough otherwise it wouldn’t be used for testing.

  7. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 23rd February 2008, 14:51

    After the 1997 F1 race (which was infamous for more than one reason!) there was an incident on the podium involving the mayor of Jerez. Something to do with him insisting that he should be a part of the proceedings. The FIA were very unhappy – they take the podium ceremony very seriously (Austria ’02 and Turkey ’06 are further examples) – and Jerez were apparently told they wouldn’t hold another F1 race.

    With Catalunya on the F1 calendar until 2016 and the Circuito Urbano Valencia only joining this year I don’t think there’s room on the calendar for Jerez.

  8. I’m happy for the merger but I think there’s too much emphasis on the IRL side of it.
    Champ Car was the superior series, with the more interesting car (IRL Dallaras look seriously dated) and more interesting schedule. They were also starting to have quite a bit of success in expanding into Europe, and I wonder if quite a few promoters have now lost their investments.
    Maybe IRL will work push-to-pass into their road races, and change their habit of calling full-course cautions on every bump, because quite frankly, IRL road races suck.

  9. Daniel said on 25th February 2008, 21:07

    Yes, chunter, but IRL prevailed given to Indy 500 long-praised tradition. Champ Car seasons seemed empty without Indianapolis, to an extent that made many top Champ Car drivers, like Montoya (2000) and Castroneves (2001), had one-off IRL entries and won at Indy…

  10. Obster said on 25th February 2008, 22:30

    This merger really needed to happen.Years ago, here in the US, the sport of boxing went through the same type of split. You never knew who was the true champion-there were always two!
    I do not think it is a matter of open wheel racing “challenging” the supremacy of NASCAR-they were always two different animals-but it is easier as a fan to follow and be interested in the sport.
    The schedule will benefit, too. Some of the races in Champcar were kind of boring-Portland and some of the street circuits. And some of the IRL events seemed ill-conceived-Richmond, for example.
    It was a happy week to see this happen.

  11. Quite an interesting take on the staff changes at F1 Racing- I just picked up my first copy of that publication back in November, and have recently been considering subscribing to it- here in the states it seems to hit newsstands a month late. I don’t recall the comments made about Ralf, but that certainly is bad taste to use language like that in a quality publication.

    And I should admit that I did find it sadly amusing that Hamilton was on the first cover after the season ended, with the newly-crowned champ shoved to the bottom of the cover. As a student of communications, I understand that a British publication needs to appeal to it’s home market, but give Kimi his due. I’m far from being a Tifosi, but I should note that Raikkonen diden’t get the cover to himself until the February issue!!

    Here’s to better days ahead for F1 Racing Magazine, and to continued success for F1Fanatic!!

  12. Also, I did get a good laugh out of the video-entertaining, and quite a far cry from the McLaren corporate image that he sported not that long ago.

    Dose anyone out there care to guess Ron’s reaction when this pops up on his screen in the offices at Woking?

  13. I agree. it was a race in Spain (Jerez). I was thinking in going to Jerez that day,

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