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Gorne not forgotten

RICK GORNE, the marketing brain behind Reynard Racing Cars, who spent the 1999 season as Race Operations Director of British American Racing, is rumored to be looking to branch out to establish his own racing car production business. Gorne was promoted sideways in January at BAR and found himself as BAR's motorsport development director. Two months later he quit Reynard after 20 years. In recent weeks there have been conflicting rumors about his activities but there is little doubt that he is planning to buy or establish a racing car manufacturing business, probably in partnership with some of his former customers on the CART scene. One suggestion we have heard is that Gorne may get backing from Bruce McCaw, who owns the PacWest team and is a shareholder in Mo Nunn Racing.

There is no doubt that there is potentially a good market for cars in CART as Reynard is currently under attack from Lola but there is probably room for a third chassis builder as Swift is not represented this year. We have heard suggestions that Gorne may have looked at buying Reynard and Lola but may end up having to start his own business, although there is little doubt that he could attract a lot of staff from Reynard.

But while some sources say that Gorne's ambition is only to make a lot of money in CART, we believe that he may have longer term hopes of becoming a Formula 1 team boss in his own right one day. This is quite possible as there are signs that a number of the racing people in CART have begun to show signs of being interested in getting into F1 now that the sport is planning to go into the American market. There is also likely to be a demand for F1 chassis-building skills in the years ahead as at least one of the European teams are likely to be sold in the next few months and the buyers all seem to be of the opinion that it is necessary to have a factory in Britain. It is a similar story with Arrows as the F1 factory is part of the TWR Group facility and so could not really be used as an independent facility if Walkinshaw and his partners ever decided to sell the team.

With British American Tobacco still deciding what to do in Formula 1 and looking for a buyer for the team, it could be that Gorne is well-positioned to put together a deal with some of his wealthy friends in the United States of America.

It will be worth watching his movements in the months ahead.

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