What’s up with Ansan?

UPDATE #7 A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, As a fan of Champ Car I take exception with you saying Champ Car has failed in so many countries. Failed in Germany? – How did they fail there when they had 80,000 for their last race and then the speedway went into bankruptcy? How is that Champ Car's fault? Failed in Brazil? – Another political battle, and a country that they are working to get back into now that they have their feet back underneath them. Failed in England? – Tried it successfully on two occasions, decided to try some other things. Not a failure. Failing in Montreal – You ought to know better than to say that. Why is that race slipping? You know why, I am not going to explain it to you. South Korea? – The first one, maybe. Yesterday? Sound business decision. You know that you don't gain anything by throwing good money after bad. Derrick Kuam, Indianapolis, IN

Dear Derrick, The point is that if Champ Car was on top of all these events they would have seen the problems coming and taken appropriate action before it was too late. That means having at least a 1-person office in each country you race in. You can't manage international events from 7,000 miles away. Mark C.

09/28/05 See announcement on Hot News that the race is cancelled…a black mark for Champ Car's ability to operate as an international sports property. Why? Failed in Germany. Failed in Brazil. Failed in England. Failing in Montreal. Failed twice in South Korea. Failed in Beijing so far. No Korean driver. No Chinese driver. If Champ Car doesn't stop acting like a domestic company that says it races internationally, and organize and perform like a global brand, they may as well stay home and race. 09/28/05 Champ Car will hold a press conference today at 1:00 PM ET presumably to announce the cancellation of the South Korea race for the second year in a row (that's what the rumor mill says). Stay tuned….. 09/27/05 Our sources in Korea tell us that race fans can buy tickets for the Ansan Champ Car race on the internet (www.ticketlink.co.kr). Ticketlink is the ticketing portal site. Paran.com (Korean portal site just like Yahoo) is said to be one of the sponsors of this race.

Both home pages are only in Korean so you'll find it difficult to browse.

Some of ticket prices are
Gold (Area C,E) : ~$90 on Sun, ~$54 on Sat
Silver (Area A,B,D) : ~$54 on Sun, ~$27 on Sat
General Admission : ~$18 on Sun, ~$14 on Sat
No mention of paddock pass.

A Concert featuring a very famous Korean singer was planned after the race but questions over the race caused its cancellation (concert organizers insist) but the race organizer says they are still trying to negotiate with concert organizers.

09/27/05 Champ Car's website reports today – Preparations are continuing for the Ansan Champ Car Grand Prix as workers prepare the facility for our 750 horsepower Champ Cars. Construction on the race track is nearing completion and workers are continuing to build the infrastructure needed to put on Champ Car's three-day festivals of speed. Local promoter The Racing Korea, continues to get ready for the event, preparing the Ansan facility for Champ Car's visit on October 16.

Photos of the track are included. It looks great. All that is needed is to erect the temporary grandstands ASAP – this is doable with enough manpower. AutoRacing1.com has learned that a lottery was held for tickets. If your name was chosen you will get tickets, so everything is in place for the race to happen if the internal squabbles get resolved. We think they will.

09/26/05 Checked with our sources at Champ Car this morning. As of noon ET the Ansan race had definitely not been cancelled and the phone lines are lit up across the Pacific trying to pull out all the stops in an effort to save the race. If it is cancelled, one rumor has the race moving up and appearing on the 2006 calendar in the spring instead of October.

09/26/05 The inaugural race for Champ Car in South Korea may happen but it won't be in 2005. SPEEDTV.com has learned that because of a number of issues, including non-payment of the sanction fee, the road race in Ansan next month has been scratched.

Champ Car is expected to make a formal announcement Monday.

Besides reducing the season to 13 races, this is a black eye for Champ Car's strategic plan to invade the Pacific Rim with races in Korea, China and Japan during the next two years.

"We've got some major issues, that's all I can say at the moment," said Joe Chrnelich, the vice president of development for Champ Car, prior to Saturday night's race at Las Vegas. "In hindsight, we needed to have somebody over there fulltime." [Editor's Note: We said that years ago] SPEEDTV.com

09/25/05 David Phillips reports in this SPEEDTV article that an announcement is expected as soon as Monday that the troubled Ansan, Korea race will be cancelled. We were asked to remain silent on it and we have until now. A final determination will be made Monday. We can tell you that the race is not definitely cancelled and meetings have been going on all weekend across the Pacific. The issue is with the Koreans (internal money and control squabbles), and has nothing to do with Champ Car. From what we know there is at least a 50/50 chance it will proceed as planned.

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