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Uncensored CΛRT Commentary
by Ed Donath

Crying Uncle
3/31/03

ATHENS, NY—Regular correspondents were a step ahead of me this past week when they wrote for my personal reaction to the news that former CΛRT CEO Joseph Heitzler has been heading up the organization co-owned by Gerald Forsythe which, essentially, runs the facilities and promotions of the Telmex/Gigante Grand Prix of Monterrey and of Mexico City—two of the biggest-ever events on the Champ Car World Series schedule. But, like those who wrote in, the info and photo presented in this 3/25/03 SPEED Commentary were news to me, as well. Rather disheartening news at that.

While there is little likelihood that the inept flimflam man would ever be reinstated as an employee of the Champ Car Company itself, and while David Phillips rhetorically posed appropriate questions regarding the connivances and disingenuousness of Gerald Forsythe in his commentary, the potential ramifications of the corporation’s largest shareholder’s ongoing actions and liaisons have been left for us to contemplate.

What-ifs regarding Forsythe’s stepped-up campaign to re-privatize CΛRT and cash in his chips by leveraging “Mr. Ecclestone’s” vast wealth and apparent need for racing business insurance are mind-blowing. A pretty strong stomach is required of those who will patiently consider the possibilities from a fan’s perspective.

Certainly, Machiavellian schemes, OPM games, and spin-offs are launched every five minutes in the corporate world. However, rarely does the pursuit of happiness of an institution’s devotees and customers hang in the balance. Once GF’s deals are done, our beloved speed sport—even in the radically altered format that we have been forced to accept—will bear little, if any, resemblance to the entity we fondly remember.

Whether Uncle Joe is merely working off a personal debt or has somehow scammed his current boss into believing that he is capable of bilingual jargon magic South of the Border is really not the issue. That Forsythe would flaunt the likes of the person most responsible for the demise of the old CΛRT in the faces of its loyalists—especially during this period of yet unresolved CΛRT/Heitzler litigation—is nothing short of a sickening disregard for the Champ Car community.

Now for the bad news: With no history such as GF’s lengthy track record in CΛRT, the new management’s loyalty to and respect for what Heitzler used to call “the stakeholders” can never even be an issue. What is left is for each of us to decide is whether and when to cry “Uncle!”

Copyright © 2003 by Ed Donath and Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.

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