Champ Car to replace Cotman? UPDATE #2 Contrary to the original rumors that Champ Car was going to replace Tony Cotman as Race Director, we now hear that Champ Car, after further review, is going to keep him. We will try to verify this latest news and make this rumor 'false.'
02/20/06 A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, I think Robin Miller and Dave Despain make a perfect pair on Wind Tunnel. Miller should be on the show every week. I thought I was reading AutoRacing1.com when I was watching Wind Tunnel. All the key points Miller and Despain made Sunday night were what I have read AutoRacing1.com saying for years, especially the point about NASCAR fines being a joke, hence why the cheating continues, and CART/IRL and the two sprint car series getting back together. Brian Jones, Miami, FL
Dear Brian, Thanks for the compliments. We just say like we see it. We agree, Miller and Despain make a good pair. Robin Miller is a natural on TV. Champ Car should have him as one of their TV reporters, he would make the broadcasts fun to watch. Instead of doing something smart like that, they are doing dumb things like removing Tony Cotman as Chief Steward because some of the calls last year didn't go the way a team owner wanted. Not having Miller in Champ Car's TV booth and removing Cotman have to go down as the two dumbest things OWRS has done in an otherwise long list of smart things they have done since starting Champ Car. Mark C. 02/02/06 In one of the most surprising moves Champ Car has made, Tony Cotman is going to be replaced as Race Director even though he is the first person in a long time who did a decent job.
This SPEEDTV.com article says, Champ Car wants Cotman replaced as race director.
"It's the owner's decision and they are seeking a replacement for me in race control," said Cotman on Thursday. "Am I disappointed, sure I am? But I'm tired of dealing with this so I guess I'll move on.
"I'm not leaving Champ Car, though."
Kevin Kalkhoven, who co-owns Champ Car with Gerald Forsythe, claimed that Cotman has too many other things on his plate and it was always the intention to replace him as Race Director.
"Tony is a very valuable member of our team but he's got plenty of other projects on his plate. Trust me, we'll find somebody just as good," said Kalkhoven recently.
Forsythe, who officially protested Cotman's ruling at Vegas and stormed up into race control following Tracy's penalty at Mexico, admitted his displeasure.
"I disagreed with three or four of his calls, absolutely," said Forsythe. "Why was nothing done to Bourdais at Monterrey? And why was the penalty on Paul so severe at Mexico City? Why did he have to go to the back of the field? Why couldn't he have simply got behind Allmendinger?
"Listen, Tony is a tremendous asset to Champ Car but he got this job as Race Director because there was nobody else. I want somebody with more experience because if we can improve the position, we should."
And while nobody can question Forsythe's loyalty, commitment or passion to Champ Car, several owners are questioning this decision.
"In the 40 years I've been in this business I can count on one hand the guys who could do that job (race director) correctly," said Derrick Walker, who intends to make Cotman an agenda in the upcoming owner's meeting Feb. 15-16. "Champ Car has a gem in that guy and we should hang onto him.
"It's sheer madness to take him out of that position." More at SPEEDTV.com