This week’s formal announcement of unification between IRL and Champ Car was badly needed, but everyone knows that the next couple of years will be tough for Indy car racing as it tries to rebuild and regain momentum under the unchallenged control of Tony George and the Indy Racing League. Difficult choices will have to be made this sumer over which IRL races to keep and which former Champ Car races to adopt or revive in 2009. Equally difficult decisions also will have to be made over the next year or two in determining the much-anticipated 2011 rules and the shape and sound of the Indy car of the future.
(Tony George and Kevin Kalkhoven shake hands following the open-wheel unification)
These decisions will determine Indy car racing’s content, look and appeal, and provide the essential framework for the sport’s energetic rebirth or consign it to a life of mediocrity and stagnation. Let’s hope that some inspired thinking will provide the basis for real leadership capable of pushing Indy car racing forward.
I’ve written about the debate over Indy car racing’s rules for the future in the new April issue of Motor Sport and will continue the discussion in the May issue with some wisdom from Mario Andretti. All of us hope the right decisions will be made over the next year or two to begin to transform Indy car racing into the first-class version of motor racing it deserves to be and you can be sure we’ll provide plenty of debate about these matters in the pages of Motor Sport.