For open-wheel unification, peace in our time (for now)

By Brant James, Times Staff Writer
Published March 1, 2008


Tony George, CEO of the Indy Racing League, and Kevin Kalkhoven, the former majority owner of the Champ Car series, focused squarely on the future during a news conference to flesh out the details of open-wheel reunification on Wednesday.

George's only glimpse back was to recall how the 30th anniversary of his grandfather's passing reminded him how long open-wheel racing had been fractured, if not officially split until he founded the IRL in 1994.

But as the series moves forward with a handful of former Champ Car race dates and teams, the question remains, will this last?

Is there a binding contract that stipulates how long this will last?

George: Yeah (laughing). It's going to outlast you and I, okay?


How do you keep it together?

George: I think the key, looking back, one of the main factors was maybe an absence or at least the perceived absence of leadership. I think as far as the leadership of the sport is concerned, I think we need to make sure there's good leadership and we're making good decisions that are in everybody's best interest, not in any one group's best interests, but collectively trying to just provide direction and support.

I suppose there are no guarantees other than, you know, a guarantee that we'll do our very best to keep this together, what's taken us so long to put back together.


Was this all worth it?

Kalkhoven: It's really not a time at this moment to be looking back. I think we'll all recognize there have been issues in the past. But the exciting thing today is that we're really looking forward.

Tony and I, as I said, have talked over several years. To me the exciting thing is not looking back, but looking forward and the opportunities that exist.

George: Will you accept his answer as mine (laughter)?



George: Good.