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Uncensored CΛRT Commentary
by Ed Donath

Pook to Sell USGP Tickets?
1/27/03

ATHENS, NY—Just prior to a tsunami of major announcements hitting the beach, Chris Pook vented his spleen in an AutoWeek interview about such injustices as the immorality and despicability of CΛRT’s deserters and the sinister intentions of their would-be Pied Piper. Having been distracted by uncharacteristically good news, my take on Grandpa Chris’ vitriol and some of the hand-tipping statements he made in that magazine interview have been delayed until now.

“Without interfering with his [F1’s Bernie Ecclestone] relationships in the United States,” Pook commented, “we've got to see what we can do to help build Formula One in the United States because it's just too good a product not to be at the top of the ladder when it comes to the USA. From my perspective as CEO of CΛRT, when Formula One comes to the United States, our entire family should be focused on making Formula One successful. That's in our best interests.”

Sheesh! Just when I thought people were finally beginning to get the concept that it is “in our best interests” not to see the inheritor of the Indianapolis Speedway prosper through our cavalier support of his two other events.

Then Pook kicked his F1 shill role up yet another notch:

“We had two and a half million people go to our races this year. We should be working our tails off to make sure that every single one of the people who went to our races goes to a Formula One race. [Doing so] would be the best thing for us and for our business…If I had my way, I would make sure that every ticket mailing list in the CΛRT series is opened up to selling Formula One tickets for the Formula One race.”

Shouldn’t it be the other way around if the ultimate goal of Christopher and bosom buddy Bernard is to, in some way, merge or align their respective racing series?

With the exception of the well-established Long Beach weekend, it is the Canadian and Mexican Champ Car events that have been most responsible for booming attendance on this side of the pond. CΛRT needs to concentrate exclusively on spreading the gospel about its own glorious product to the ignorant masses in major American markets.

Population pockets like Chicago, New York and St. Louis are perfect examples of cities that have failed to support our beloved speed sport ostensibly because they are bastions of stick-and-balldom wherein only cabdrivers and roadragers participate in motor sports. Do you believe for a minute that these urbanites would be any more apt to give the Meadowlands, Gateway or the Paper Clip Built by Chip a share of their sports ticket budgets after being exposed to second-hand snail mail propaganda about Europe’s ForMoola One than they were before?

Most enthusiasts already acknowledge F1 to be the world’s premier racing series both from a technological standpoint and because of the talent of its driver roster. Pook’s very silent partner, Bernard, should be the one touting Champ Car racing’s goods; namely CΛRT’s ongoing near-parity with his own high tech circus and the even-closer resemblance that is scheduled to take hold just two short years from now—especially if he is seeking a venue change for the USGP—not the other way around.

There is a possibility that F1 will someday have to share a choice American venue with the Champ Car Word Series. Co-promotion at the proper time will be necessary to help insure that neither series’ attendance embarrasses the others’.

Would F1’s boss allow Brands Hatch or Lausitz CΛRT event brochures to be thrown into every ticket envelope mailed to Grand Prix ticket buyers in the UK and Germany? If not, what point is there in Grandpa Chris assuming the job as Eccelstone’s USA publicity agent?

Bernie the Boss obviously wants his ForMoola One out of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway ASAP and, incidentally, he may actually despise its inheritor every bit as much as his friend Christopher and right-thinking Champ Car fans do. Nonetheless, he maintains strategic silence about his wishes and future plans.

If Grandpa Chris truly wants to emulate his wildly successful fellow Brit he would be wise to do the same.

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

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