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Guest donaltopablo

CART dumps DT Miami race

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MIAMI (AP) -- The new owners of the financially strapped CART open-wheel series have eliminated the downtown Miami race.

The race will not be included in the 2004 Champ Car World Series schedule, said Paul Gentilozzi, one of three partners in the Open Wheel Racing Series LLC that is purchasing most of CART's assets and will take over the 25-year-old series.

"I've raced (in Miami) a long, long time," Gentilozzi said Wednesday. "It's a wonderful event, and I love going there. But we made a business decision based on overhead costs of running a race in the center of an urban environment."

Gentilozzi did not rule out the possibility of returning to South Florida. The race drew 70,000 fans in September, but lost $9 million in its first two years of existence.

On Tuesday, as part of the buyout deal with Open Wheel Racing Series, the publicly owned CART filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Indianapolis.

Open Wheel Racing Series agreed to purchase specific assets, including contracts with promoters, sponsors and teams.

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The major professional racing series in the US break down like this:

IRL (Indy Racing League) - Open wheel aka Indy cars aka Foruma cars run exclusively on oval tracks. Struggled for years, but recently has been very competitive and successful. Also runs exclusively North America. Focuses on cost effectiveness.

CART - Open wheel runs a oval and road courses, mostly North American but includes races in Japan, England, and Australia. Struggling financially in recent years, was the top open wheel series in the US until about 2 years ago when poor management decisions and cost set the series into a tail spin.

NASCAR - probably doesn't need explanation, but mostly American cars (Toyota recently joined their Truck series). Bar far the biggest in America and wildly successful in recent years.

BTW For reference, CART and IRL use to be the same series, but split over cost models, track types, and engine types.

Also, CART is the only of the American racing series that run downtown/urban road courses, rather than dedicated race tracks. It's a huge disappointment that CART is failing, since in my opinion, it's by far the most challenging and interesting. CART recently got bought out, but it will be several years of rebuilding before it returns to form, and thats assuming the new management does clean things up. CART has been successful developing drivers for Forumla 1, which is the premier International open wheel racing series. F1 runs by far the most advanced, powerful, and expensive cars.

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I think I posted some of these photos a while back, but here is a great photo from the 2003 Miami race that kinds of illustrates why loosing these DT races is a shame.


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