How real is the LA race?

UPDATE #2 Another reader adds, Dear, If Champ Car does indeed have serious thoughts about running a race in L.A. then they should move forward with those plans regardless of the outcome in Long Beach. The coverage they would receive in Tinseltown would be much welcomed. Anyone who says that two races held in such close proximity would not work obviously do not comprehend just the enormous amount of people that live in the Southern California area. Champ Car could easily play off of the two races as a real battle between neighbors just as they could with Surfers Paradise and Adelaide, (although the latter two are much further apart). If Champ Car does not get the Long Beach race then they already have the L.A. race in the bank anyhow. If Champ Car misses out on retaining LB, then they could possibly check out Phoenix. Although I do not know how wide or narrow the streets are there, surely they would not be any more narrow than LB. I do know that Phoenix for the last 5-7 years has been the fastest growing city in the U.S. and is located in a nice proximity compared to L.A. (approx. 6 hours), and is absolutely beautiful with fantastic weather. Surely the people of Phoenix would welcome something new to the area other than just oval racing on a short 1 mile track. Hey, if the NHL can put a hockey team there, then street racing, (along with Formula Drifting), should pull in a nice crowd. Champ Car has some good ideas and are on the way up again. If they could find a way to create some real competition between cities it would then in itself create competition between sponsors, meaning some much needed income for Champ Car in the way of race sponsorship, track signage, corporate suites and pure fan attraction. Just a thought. Deke McTeer, Twin Lake, MI Dear Deke, Champ Car's contract with Dover probably precludes them from racing within "X" miles of Long Beach unless Dover was also the promoter of that event as well. Certainly Champ Car is moving ahead with their LA plans, they have to be, just in case they lose LB. However, rest assured if they keep LB, they will drop their LA plans. As for Phoenix, they could go back to that city and replace the IRL on the oval if the rumors of ISC divorcing the IRL at that 1-mile track are true. However, it's more likely a street race in Phoenix would interest them more. Do I see it happening? No. Mark C. 04/30/05 A reader adds, Los Angeles Politics and the Entertainment industry are something that TG does not have a clue about! Paul Newman can open just about any door in the City, City Hall and / or the Hollywood Entertainment industry . Not only does Kevin have a key player in Newman, but the potential revenues of a Champ Car event could produce several times any possible IRL event in the area; Long Beach or other. I almost hope that the IRL gets Long Beach to see this thing play out! Richard Bowden Dear Richard, That's crazy. Champ Car is Long Beach and there's no reason to wish they lose it. However, we have little doubt a race could be successful in LA, around the Staples Center for example, but Long Beach has a great history and would be their first choice. Mark C. 04/29/05 A reader asks, Dear, Is there really any truth to Kevin Kalkhoven's threat to hold a race in Los Angeles if Champ Car loses Long Beach? Dave Burns, Los Angeles, CA. Dear Dave, Kalkhoven's statement was not a threat against Long Beach. Champ Car loves Long Beach and they hope very much to be back. However, if Tony George is successful in taking yet something else from Champ Car, don't look for Champ Car to just go away and lick its wounds. The nonsense with Tony George taking everything from CART/Champ Car will no longer come down without a counterattack. As Tony George found out in CART bankruptcy court and again recently when he tried to buy Cosworth, the new owners of Champ Car are prepared to go to battle and win. No more bending over and taking it up the you know what.

It is important to understand that Champ Car wishes Long Beach no harm, but that does not mean the city might not become a victim of the crossfire between Champ Car and the IRL. Champ Car didn't start the war, Tony George did, and he will have to deal with the consequences of his actions should Champ Car elect to run a race in the LA market, an important market for any race series.

Los Angeles is a major city and the media coverage in LA will dwarf Long Beach. All the major TV stations in LA hardly take notice of Long Beach. Not so when they have their own race. Can Champ Car pull it off in time? One need look no further than San Jose, which recently moved the entire race track three months before the event, to see what can be done in a very short time. With that said, we're all hoping it does not come to that. Mark C.

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