Uncensored CΛRT Commentary|
by Ed Donath
The Forsythe Saga
BUFFALO GROVE, IL—It is significant whenever any corporation’s largest shareholder speaks about the
possibility of his stock transferring to another individual. In the case of Gerald Forsythe—Championship
Auto Racing Teams (a/k/a NYSE-MPH) former board-sitter, franchise/team owner, sponsor, race promoter and
track investor—such a statement has reportedly been made.
"He [F1 Boss Bernie Ecclestone] has been looking at it [CΛRT] for quite a few months," GF was quoted
recently in the British print/e-magazine AUTOSPORT. "He's a very intelligent man and understands
what the value of the company is and what the good points are for him in having a large share in the company.
If it [Bernie the Boss’ MPH share acquisition] happened, it would be great for Champ Car. I don't see any
downside,” Forsythe further opined.
The approximately 7,000,000 shares of MPH shares now held by Forsythe and his Indeck Energy Services,
Inc. (http://biz.yahoo.com/t/53/381.html) make him a beneficial
owner of CΛRT with, at the end of any given day, nearly 25% of MPH shares. Of course, Forsythe can
hold sway over no more than 15% of company stock; the corporate board retains SEC-approved rights to vote on his
Another former board member and longtime investor in the Champ Car Company, James Grosfeld (and family)
is the only other major stockholder that has amassed in excess of 10% of MPH shares. Together with Barber
Dodge Pro Series driver, Jonathan Vannini, who is the holder of about 8% of shares, nearly half of Champ
Car’s proxy has, to date, accrued to Forsythe, Grosfeld and Vannini. Whether this trio will coalesce as a
bloc and ultimately win the board’s rubber-stamp approval of its every desire is anybody’s best guess.
Forsythe is also reported, by AUTOSPORT, to have sent his own personal appraisal of CΛRT and its
governing body to Ecclestone. Proof of such a document appears to be borne-out by a Deep Throttle
operative posing as a part-time janitor at Indeck’s suburban Chicago corporate headquarters.
Our anonymous source recently retrieved a crumpled handwritten document from Mr. Forsythe’s wastebasket.
The complete text follows:
Pursuant to the publication of remarks attributed to me by your useful tool motorsports tabloid, the
following is a list of the “good points” of the Champ Car series and its current management as they relate
to F1 and, thereby, enhance your investment potential in CART:
- The world’s primary automotive market—North America—is deliverable to every engine manufacturer
(read: carmaker) by virtue of our extremely strong alignment with major cities, sponsors, venues and
ancillary entities throughout the USA, Canada and Mexico.
- A strong partnership with Ford, through its Cosworth subsidiary, provides natural entrée into our
series for Jaguar and other assorted marques under the Blue Oval corporate logo. Naturally, competitors
- Similarly, the world’s largest tire corporation, Bridgestone/Firestone, is a strong and deliverable
marketing and manufacturing partner.
- Current CEO Chris Pook and recently-hired COO, David Clare—two gentlemen whom you certainly know
well and have spoken of fondly—are performing their functions admirably and have earned the respect of
CART’s fans, stockholders and board members.
- Pook’s ideas and efforts have not only helped change the face of the series for 2003 and beyond
but have also served to put quite a positive counter-spin on what was previously extremely negative PR.
- More than ever before CART’s driver roster is comprised of personalities who share knowledge of
Formula One and its venues.
- Similarly, technical and engineering personnel prove to be more than adaptable at transferring
from either of our series to the other.
- All current participants in the Champ Car World Series have, of their own volition, chosen to be
where they are today; all known CART-bashing insiders and would-be saboteurs have removed themselves from
- Implied identification with a competitive all-ovals open-wheel racing series, its home venue and
its signature event has, of late, been forbidden.
- Our fan base—as proven by a thus-far successful “watering down” experiment—is loyal to a fault. Should
some sort of affiliation of our two series occur, it is likely to be embraced by fans that will, at least,
adopt a “The enemy of our enemy is our friend” philosophy.
It is not known whether a final draft of this document was ever sent to Bernie Ecclestone. It will
be interesting to see whether CART stock will be impacted in Gerald Forsythe’s favor as a result of his
early release of this information about Bernie Ecclestone’s alleged forthcoming buy-in.
Copyright © 2003 by Ed Donath and Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.
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