Yesterday the interweb was a buzz with the bombshell that Craig Gore had quit racing! I was suffering from a headache and a slight case of WGAF, so I didn’t write about it.
Low and behold this morning the following drops into my inbox…
STATEMENT FROM CRAIG GORE
Craig Gore, Queensland businessman and co-founder of Team Australia, wishes to make the following statement in concern to media reports today in Australia regarding his future involvement in motorsport.
“I have not made any announcement regarding my retirement from motorsport,” said Gore.
“I did state that I was taking time this week in Byron Bay to reflect upon things and my future after a life threatening illness and that if it came down to having to make a choice, I would prefer to spend time with my kids rather than go racing. I made no comment of whether I discussed this with my family or close friends. I considered this conversation to be in confidence.
“I also stated that I had discussed my position with my partners, Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser.
“If there is a Surfers Paradise IndyCar Series event I will work with my current partners to bring Team Australia to the event with Will Power as our driver.
“I have no control and no influence over the event, the possibility of the IndyCar Series competing at Surfers Paradise or the continuing negotiations.
“I have and will continue to support the event and the team in any way I can until the outcome of these negotiations is clear.
“I did state that I had considered this event to be my last if there was not an outcome that would see the IndyCar Series return to Surfers Paradise.
“I also stated that I was not using this to bluff either the State Government or the Indy Racing League into reaching an outcome.
“I deeply regret this attention, which may have had a negative impact on the IndyCar Series, the event and the many great sponsors of our team. Most importantly I deeply regret any impact this may have had on the team and its partners.
“I am disappointed by the reports in the media today but it would not be the first time I have been disappointed by the way media has dealt with my answers. For the record, I was answering questions asked and there was no announcement being made by me.
“Giving up is not my style and I intend to fight and offer any and all resources to help keep this event on the Gold Coast and to develop Team Australia into a championship-winning operation.”
So, it appears the rumours of his demise have been greatly exaggerated… or have they?
Grain of salt time…
Over the past season, particularly prior to the mergification, we experienced a few of these “official statement” retractions the day after a story broke in the media. More often than not however, in hindsight, the original story would turn out to be true.
(Note to owners/drivers: there is NO SUCH THING is a completely confidential off the record conversation, unless you use pre-determined code phrases like “between you and I”, and even then, only between your most trusted confidants)
Put it this way, if it wasn’t true yesterday/today, the fallout from the news will likely push it into fruition soon anyway.
Potential chain reaction ramifications?
Well, the IRLista (fans, media, etc…) hated Australia. And even if they did enjoy it, they won’t admit it. So without a millionaire funding it, and a team to support it, a great event is likely going to be lost to indifference and economic woes.
Without the event, “Team Australia” kinda loses some steam, unless they go the route of “Visit Mexico” and use the car as a giant tourism billboard.
I think Servia is comfortably locked in at KV Technology should they continue, but without Team Australia and Gore’s funding, Will Power could find himself roaming the paddock with his helmet under his arm like so many of his peers before him. His results and performance this season certainly didn’t light the world on fire, nor did it particularly impress his boss Kalkhoven, who was openly frustrated with his Toowoomba hot shoe.
I guess this gets tossed on the silly season pile to ferment a little while longer…