Q and A with Kevin Kalkhoven
Ex-Champ Car co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven sat down recently with the Indy Star newspaper for a question-and-answer session:
|Tony George (L) and Kevin Kalkhoven|
Question: Why now? What made you decide it was time to let Champ Car fade into history?
Answer: The decision to unify wasn't about money. It's just that neither side was going anywhere. The only hope for open-wheel racing going forward was to unify. Now the hard work begins.
Q: Do you have any role in the IndyCar Series other than team owner?
A: No. And that was a very conscious decision on my part. I'm friends with Tony and we'll continue to talk. But he should have the opportunity to run it without me looking over his shoulder. I'll still be offering my comments, though.
Q: Will you miss having a series to run?
A: The fun in any race weekend is from the green flag to the checkered flag. And I still have that.
Q: What's your prognosis for the future of the sport?
A: The real question is, is it too late? Is NASCAR unassailable -- and if it isn't, what do we have to do? I think that question is still unanswered.
Q: So what do you have to do?
A: If we can build on the young heroes we have, then this sport stands a very good chance. It's not about the technology. It's all about the drivers. What more could you ask for than to have two smart, handsome young men like Graham (Rahal) and Marco (Andretti)? Artificial stories are simply that, but the real stories like the chance to have a long rivalry between those two is something we need to capitalize on and promote.
Q: Were you surprised that Gerald Forsythe and Paul Gentilozzi, your partners in Champ Car, opted not to move their teams to the IndyCar Series?
A: No. I committed to Tony that I was going to do it, but I can understand why they would want to wait. Let's give it a year and see what they do.
Q: What happens to the Cosworth-powered Panoz DP01s that all the teams ran in Champ Car?
A: After Long Beach, ours went into storage. We've had some inquiries, so we'll see. But even if we never see that chassis racing again, there were a lot of lessons learned with it that (we) can apply going forward. They're fast. They're safe. They're very good race cars.
Q: If you had it to do over again, would you still choose to purchase Champ Car and extend the open-wheel split another four years?
A: It's been a long trip and not without its ups and downs, of course. But a lot of good things came out of the last four years, especially in terms of technology. So I wouldn't necessarily say that I would change a thing.