Champ Car, ALMS, NASCAR a possibility for Honda

John Oreovicz of NSSN talked to Robert Clarke at Watkins Glen last weekend after he visited the Champ Car race in Las Vegas and report – "We touched on a multitude of subjects," Clarke said. "We still talked about unification, though that wasn't the purpose. That was my fifth meeting with Kevin, and somewhere in our discussions he had invited me to come to an event. I had not been to a Champ Car event since we left at the end of 2002 and I really didn't know what it was all about other that what I read and see on the Internet. It was a race I felt I could work into the schedule without disrupting things too much."

Clarke refused to divulge whether he is considering taking Honda back into Champ Cars. Any diversification by HPD would not occur before 2007.

"It was neat to see a lot of familiar faces and people we don't see in the IRL," Clarke said. "The series is totally different than when we were there. We continue to look at everything and I will not deny that we have looked at Champ Car. But we are looking at many other things. Part of HPD's business plan is to diversify beyond one series, which is what we have always had. We are in that research mode and we are looking at anything and everything. Next weekend I'll be at Road Atlanta with the ALMS and then Talladega for the NASCAR event. So the rumors are going to be everywhere."

The chief hang-up preventing Cosworth from continuing in the IRL is the league's insistence on having a manufacturer badge an engine. After GM's own IRL engine was outclassed by Toyota and Honda, GM bought the rights to a Cosworth design and badged it as a Chevrolet.

"Cosworth is a very strong name in racing," Clarke said. "If it was HPD competing against Cosworth, it would be a way for HPD to showcase its technical skills. In a truly technical sense, Cosworth has value to those fans who really know what it is about. But on a more general level, the Cosworth name doesn't have the kind of exposure we feel we really need. You would have the might of Honda competing against a racing engine company which would unfortunately create a no-win situation. If you win, you should have won, and if you lose, you look really bad. So the competition we need is true manufacturer competition."

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :