Gore quits motor racing, Team Australia DOA?
Gold Coast businessman Craig Gore has quit motor racing. Speaking from a family holiday at Byron Bay, Mr. Gore said he had an epiphany when he underwent life-saving surgery in London last month, forcing him to rethink life's priorities.
"I was given a week to live before my operation, and that's really changed my view of things," he said.
"I would rather spend time with my kids than race cars."
While on business in Britain in early October, the flamboyant businessman suffered a perforated bowel which required emergency surgery and saw him almost ruled out as a spectator at Indy only two weeks ago.
Determined not to miss what was billed as the possible swansong for IndyCars in Surfers, he made a surprise appearance at Indy to support his Team Australia.
However, Mr. Gore has now claimed that was the last Indy he would be involved in.
"I am considering myself retired from motorsport," he said.
"I am so happy to be down at Byron Bay at the beach house and pleased not to be involved in it any more, with all the time and energy that went into it."
Earlier this year, Mr. Gore also sold his two V8 Supercar licenses, citing 'personal business and health' reasons, leaving IndyCars his only remaining involvement in the motor racing world.
Mr. Gore said he had discussed his decision to leave the industry with billionaire team co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven, family and close friends and felt he could walk away with his head held high.
"I think we did a pretty good job and worked pretty hard at it ... we had good objectives of having an Australian in an Australian team and win a race," he said.
"Will (Power) came pretty damn close but in the end ... in my view we did all right -- we ran a team around the world for five years and flew the flag around the world.
"We competed well ... and I think if I had won, I would walk away a winner, but I was going to walk away a winner in any case."
Mr. Gore has repeatedly said that if the IndyCar series did not return to the Gold Coast he would pull out of the race as it left him with no direct benefit for his Aussie Vineyards sponsorship.
However, Mr. Gore said his decision was not necessarily connected with the uncertainty over the future of the Indy race on the Coast and denied he was bluffing to try to sway the Indy Racing League.
"I am just seriously over motorsport -- been there and done that," said a philosophical Mr. Gore.
"I have other things to do with my time."
Local businessman and V8 race team sponsor Terry Morris described it as a 'sad loss to motorsport'.
"He's been a great contributor, been very passionate and always given 100 per cent -- it's motor sport's loss," said Mr. Morris.
It was uncertain how Team Australia driver Will Power would be affected by Mr. Gore's decision.
Neither Power, who is currently in Las Vegas, nor US-based Mr. Kalkhoven could be reached for comment. Goldcoast.com