How so? They killed the Hot Lap program," Davis said. This is where Ford brought in potential customers to run hot laps around the race track prior to the race. One reason why Champ Car killed Ford's little exclusive program was 'to allow individual race promoters to sell 'Official Car' rights to other manufacturers." While Ford's Hot Lap program benefited Ford, it brought nothing to Champ Car but to take away valuable race weekend track time that could be better used to entertain race fans. And now XYZ car company can be the "official car of the ABC Grand Prix."
Ford's annual payment to Champ Car was said to be a paltry $1M a year and for this they got track time at every event, Ford logos on all the race cars, on the engines and the Ford name as part of the series. And how many advertisements did you see Ford run mentioning Champ Car? That's right, zero. If that isn't a one-sided deal in favor of Ford we don't know what is. We're surprised Champ Car didn't tell Ford to take a hike a lot sooner….and now you know the real story….
01/24/07 Champ Car and Ford have decided to end their relationship. Champ Car President Steve Johnson had this to say.
"Today’s decision was made from a business standpoint on both sides and in no way should tarnish the long legacy of success that the Ford Motor Company has established in Champ Car competition. We thank Ford for what it has done for the series, but we are continuing building a bright future for the series and are exploring a number of other options for a manufacturer partner."