JANUARY 29, 2004
OWRS wins CART assets
The split in American open-wheeler racing will continue - and Formula 1 will be able to take advantage of the situation. Yesterday in Indianapolis Judge Frank Otte approved the sale of the assets of the Champ Car World Series to Open Wheel Racing Series. The decision came after a dramatic day of bidding between OWRS and Tony George's Indy Racing League.
"There are no guarantees," said the judge, "but I know there is such a thing as a second chance. I hope the new spark of life from the new group will enable them to be successful."
Tony George said afterwards that the opportunity to reunify open-wheel racing in the US had been wasted.
The CART creditors were in favour of the OWRS bid which they estimated would enable them to pay off more creditors. The fear was that if IRL took over there would be a string of lawsuits from race promoters.
While the organizers of the OWRS are celebrating victory, the decision means that the division will continue and that cannot be good for open-wheel racing in the United States.
In the meantime NASCAR can continue to flourish and the door is open for Formula 1 to make inroads into the divided US market.
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