He has come into his own at Penske and is a hero in his homeland. It was a fine parade and seeing the Indy Cars one final time in ’08 was sweet. BUT…
Canadians and Australians have an inflated view of their place within the Indy Racing hierarchy. The latest example of the exact same type of arrogant lunacy that killed cart and champcar reared its ugly head again before the exhibition Indy Car race at Surfers Paradise.
Craig Gore, a rich Aussie who also finances the Team Australia effort for Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser, warned Anton that he was out of Indy Car if Surfers Paradise stayed missing from the 2009 schedule. He also positioned Mr. George as the victim of bad advice from others. The idiotic rhetoric continued when suggestions were made that Chicagoland or Kentucky could be sacrificed for a race that if lost ‘would be like throwing away the Indy 500.’
Uh, Craig, no it is NOT like throwing away the Indy 500. It is not even close. The Australia event is basically nothing more than a carnival where youthful Australians go to get their drunk on and leer at scantily clad young ladies.
Not that there is anything wrong with that.
Gore also said: ‘I can tell you now if there’s no IRL on the Gold Coast, there’s no Team Australia. I have invested $20 million into this event and this team and flying the Australian flag, and made a significant contribution to the state and the country. Hopefully we can win it this year so if I do have to walk away, I can say we that have achieved what we set out to do.’
Hey Craig, do not let the screen door hit you on your pompous arse on the way out.
The Australian press has heaped the type of vulgar rhetoric on Indy Racing not seen since cart and champcar were flopping around in their death throes. If I know Indy Racing management this could well be a tactic. IMS and Indy Car ALWAYS negotiate quietly but firmly. During such negotiation, they never say a word. I cannot say whether or not Surfers Paradise will return. There is a lot of money at stake, however, and the Indy Racing folks could extract even more.
As a fan, I could care less about it. It takes place on the other side of the planet and is inconvenient to watch. Plus, it is one of those abominable temporary courses. I urge the Indy Racing folks to concentrate on North America. Get that right before taking an F-1-like route.