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DATE News (chronologically)
08/14/12
IRL
IndyCar and team owners at odds again  A dispute between Izod IndyCar Series team owners and manufacturers about the cost of parts has become the centerpiece of a rift between owners and series officials, who promise to have the parts issue resolved within the next five weeks.

While one owner warns that the dispute is something "you don't want to see get nasty," series officials downplay its significance and say owners are using the parts issue to gain leverage in an ongoing dispute with top series officials.

"There are some very rational owners who have discussed issues with me and have discussed them in a practical way," IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard told USA TODAY Sports on Monday.

"There are others that just want to create turmoil and continue to fight. I'm not sure that they understand the bigger picture. It's important for us to listen to and understand what everyone is saying. There are a lot who understand what we're trying to do, but there are some who don't."

Owners say the price of parts adds 50% to 70% more to the initial cost of the new Dallara chassis introduced this year. Meetings among owners and IndyCar officials about the cost of parts have been going on at most races this season. At times the discussions have been tense, but Bernard and IndyCar president of operations and strategy Brian Barnhart say they expect to reach a compromise by the final race Sept. 15.

Owners are asking for a 40% price reduction on certain parts, which Bernard said would save owners about $75,000 a car. While the initial price of the new Dallara DW12 chassis is about $300,000, the average amount teams spend on operating costs for each car is about $6 million and some spend as much as $10 million.

"We're only talking about 4%-5% of what they're spending," Bernard said of parts. "I'm looking at it as one issue. I want to save them a lot more than that by looking at the bigger picture. … I've been here 2½ years, and there always seems to be mistrust. We continue to work together, and it's very important for us to be able to sit in a room and understand the complete economics and make decisions that are in the best interest of the series overall." More at USA Today
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