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Is Indy Racing about to push the self destruct button (again)? #Indycar

Let’s be clear from the start; I love IndyCars and have done so for nearly 50 years.

Growing up in the UK in the 50s and early 60s Indy racing was not much on my radar until 1964 when coverage on that tragic opening lap made international news. One of my heroes was Dan Gurney and through following his exploits I started to get a bit more into USAC racing generally over the next year or so and Graham Hill, another hero, winning in ’66 brought more interest.

That year our motor club at school hired a film of the 1961 Indy 500 and the sight of those roadsters, so alien to my European eyes, fascinated me; I had to know more. I did get to see a CART race in the 90s, but maybe I will get to see the 500 in person one day? And whilst I’veĀ loved the highs I have been saddened by the lows, especially in the decline of interest in the series. I am also a NASCAR fan, but don’t see why the series cannot co-exist, for they fill differing needs, and so I am disappointed to read of rumours that there may be more unrest amongst the IndyCar ranks, for this is the sort of thing that does little to raise the profile or to help teams bring sponsors on board.

What we need is a stable series and the 2013 calendar should provide a good basis for teams, sponsors and fans alike. There are plenty of good drivers available and the chance of full grids. Double header weekends and the return of the Triple Crown are things that should help stimulate media interest so we can look forward to 2013 with confidence.

Or at least we should be able to, if these rumours can be dispensed with. Perhaps the senior team owners should demonstrate some leadership here and make a public statement of solidarity with the organisers?

Indy racing will never see the variety or levels of innovation that so inspired me in the second half of the ’60s, but it doesn’t need to. It has survived tough times before and can succeed with what it has now through engaging with the current generations in its fan base and expanding on that.

The explosion in social media is being embraced by many of the teams, drivers and tracks. Add in the rest and the sponsors and start engaging. There is a global opportunity beyond the home market that is waiting to be tapped.

Trucker Toggle and I will be doing our bit from the UK and look forward to being part of it all from afar next year again. We have been over to see IndyCars race before, but who knows, we might even get to one of the 2013 races.

I love Indy, and just want to see it thrive, so please let’s quash these rumours of unrest and move on.


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