Daily Archives: February 28, 2008

do you ever feel…

like one of these?

Welcome to the world of open wheel fandom. Seriously.
This year is barely two months old, and I’m fucking exhausted.
Like our friend bozo up there, I have taken multiple punches, but have rolled with them all. Sure I have vacillated back and forth with each announcement and rumour as to whether I could, would, should continue to support this sport.

As a fan, as a human, my line in the sand has been and continues to be ever fluctuating.
“I’ll continue to support as long as… <insert condition here>
Yes, I said condition.
My “unconditional” fandom ended a while back, when I discovered it was becoming a requirement to even be considered a “true” fan.
Sorry, but I will always hold people accountable for the things I find unacceptable. (and anyone who truly wishes to be successful should and does welcome constructive criticism and suggestions from their peers and customers…)

So today, another punch, another rally, another gut check, another line in the sand.

So little of what I actually love about this is moving forward. Somehow though it was palatable with FCR making the jump. They have always been my team. They were my assigned story. Their pitbox was my hangout on race weekend. My enthusiasm for the sport, directly tied to my involvement with them.

Now there is a shitty car, and shitty engine, and a bunch of shitty venues. My home race is gone, my team is gone, and now the ONE guy that I have and DO support unconditionally (though he has made me angry over the years) is standing on the sidelines. The guy that has put up with all the bullshit, that resisted the money and pressure to bail, that spoke up for and out on behalf of the series, suddenly, thanklessly, rideless.

I am absolutely gutted for him. If he were in his early 20’s, it wouldn’t be so much of an issue. Many opportunities out there for a young hot shoe with proven talent. But at 39, he doesn’t have a lot of open wheel years ahead of him. FCR and his 5yr contract was his retirement plan. It was his graceful swan song. It was his handing over the torch to the younger generation then moving on to something else.

This whole situation is such a piss off. I’m torn again between wishing nothing had changed and knowing absolutely with all my heart that unification had to happen. Face it, neither series was going to make it past 2008, and AOW was likely going to be reduced to a once a year event in Indy. Hell, it could still turn out that way for all we know. Thus far, excitement for it aside, this unification isn’t exactly getting off on the right foot. (the FCR bailing thing is just one of a half dozen ugly situations going on behind the scenes)

I’m angry that so much potential was squandered so thoughtlessly over the last 5 yrs. Did anybody really ever look at the big picture? Was ANYONE in this for the good of open wheel? Or was it really just about fattening up everyone’s wallets and egos.

Once again, as has happened many times over the last two months, I am standing on the precipice. However… I am running out of sand to draw the line in. Once again I face the will I or won’t I decision. At some point (perhaps very soon) I will have nothing left that I actually care about to champion. I really really do want American Open Wheel to not just survive, but thrive! Unfortunately, I now don’t know how much my involvement will be in it as we move ahead. Everybody has a different stress point, the breaking point where that tiny piece of straw fractures your desire, your hope, your joy, your dream.

That piece of straw is getting mighty heavy…

and the other shoe drops…

Statement from Neil Micklewright, VP of Operations for Forsythe Championship Racing Ltd., LLC:

“Forsythe Championship Racing is announcing today the cessation of its racing operations. After 13 years of competition in CART and the Champ Car World Series, the team has been unable to secure the necessary sponsorship to be able to compete in the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series in 2008. Forsythe Racing Inc., the parent company of FCR, will participate in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, the Champ Car finale, with drivers to be announced.”

I’m seriously at a loss for words at this moment. I knew it was coming. The puzzle pieces weren’t fitting together as neatly as they should. But dayum.

Drivers to be announced?? What the fuck does that mean?

My spidey sense is screaming that unka jerry is going to keep PT locked into his contract to keep him from participating in the unified series, thus stealing their thunder and their “name” for their marketing going forward.  I would hope that isn’t the case, or if it is that he at least lets the man drive somewhere else.

Seems like a mighty unfair end for Paul after all he sacrificed and championed for CC.

oh crap… who knows… today’s headache just went from a 3 to an 11…