Three strikes and Ansan’s out

UPDATE #4 We forgot to make this rumor, first reported at, 'fact' when it was announced that the race was cancelled.

06/11/06 Our sources in South Korea tell us that Champ Car did receive major dollars in advance last year, whereas the year before they received nothing. Our Korea sources tell us that Ansan can happen, but Champ Car needs to be nurturing the final steps of the process. Why throw away a track that has already been built for $10m plus dollars? To put it in better context, when a U.S. company goes bankrupt and owes people money, it takes time to clean up the situation and pass it along to a new owner, i.e. CCWS. Throw in public dollars and it gets tougher due to the politics.

Our source tell us that Mayor Song did not run again. The election was last month. The new Mayor is supportive of the new group. Champ Car should be back in there rolling up their sleeves to push it forward. We hear it is a good new promoter with solid financial backing. The only holdup was getting management control of the track from the City which was contingent upon creditors being satisfied. That is a normal business process but it takes time.

If Champ Car walks out on South Korea, A1 Grand Prix will march right into Ansan and profit from all the work Champ Car did on the project. David Clare is now the Chief Operating Officer of A1GP and lives in Seoul. Does not take a lot of thought to see this one coming.

05/02/06 In a story first broke right here on, look for Champ Car to soon announce that Ansan, South Korea has been cancelled, this time for good, and to counter that we were told a month or two ago that Zhuhai, China would take its place on the 2007 schedule. Zhuhai, rather than Beijing because until the Olympics are over, Beijing is not prepared to host an event. Zhuhai (right) is across the Delta from Hong Kong and is practically ready to host a race now – the natural terrain road course is built to F1 standards and stands ready.

04/07/06 We are bumping this rumor up to strong. sources are telling us that Ansan probably is not going to happen. The primary reason is the political in-fighting going on in South Korea. Despite building a track and having sponsors for the race, it appears the political issues will kill this event.

On a more positive front, we are told much progress has been made in China and an announcement can be forthcoming in the near future.

03/25/06 According to sources in South Korea, after recent visits Champ Car has asked the City of Ansan for a final decision by end of March regarding this year's scheduled race on October 15th. However, our sources hear that Ansan City has no intention to hold a Champ Car race this year and that Ansan City will develop a plan on what to do with the race track they built after the Mayor’s Election Day ( 31st of May ) with the new elected city mayor.

If this rumor is true, this would be the third time South Korea has cancelled the race, and as they say….three strikes and you're out.

However, we suspect there may be more behind this rumor because in a Champ Car/IRL merger (rumor) there would simply be too many races on a combined schedule and some would have to be dropped. With the Honda race at Motegi plus the Champ Car race possibly in Beijing, coupled with Suzuka who needs a race now that they lost F1, one has to wonder whether Ansan would survive the chopping block. If not, why run there for one year?

Logic tells us the 2006 Champ Car schedule could soon be reduced to 14 races, the same as the IRL schedule. 14+14 = 28 races. We see the 8 weakest races being dropped and a 20-race schedule in a merged series scenario.

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