Road America: CART Breached Contract
Grand Prix of Road America Remains on Schedule Elkhart Lake, Wisc., Dec. 18, 2003. Road America has notified CART that CART breached its 2004 sanctioning agreement when it attempted to assign its non-transferable contract with Road America to the Open Wheel Racing Series (OWRS), according to George Bruggenthies, president and general manager.
CART signed over its assets to OWRS on Dec. 15 and filed for bankruptcy on Dec. 16. CART alleges that the Road America contract now is part of the bankruptcy proceedings to be decided by an Indianapolis judge.
Road America's attorneys notified CART on Monday, Dec. 15. "All of CART's assets are before a bankruptcy judge," said Bruggenthies, and resolution of the bankruptcy issues could take quite a while.
Everything is up on the air, and again this year Road America's race fans can't make definitive plans. "No one can predict the future, and the future for CART at this point is uncertain," he continued, "because everything is in the hands of a judge who must make a decision on a complicated bankruptcy."
"The Grand Prix of Road America's schedule will go forward with the notation 'CART to be determined'," said Bruggenthies, because of the uncertainty. Other series slated to compete during the Grand Prix of Road America Presented by the Chicago Tribune weekend include Motorock Trans-Am Series for the BF Goodrich Cup, Toyota Atlantic and a Barber Dodge Pro Series doubleheader.
Other series may be added. "We have a business to run, and at the most basic level, products to sell," Bruggenthies continued.
"Our product is racing entertainment and all that involves, from race fans making summer plans and buying tickets to corporate relationships.
"We need adequate time to market our schedule. This unexpected maneuver by CART has really placed things up in the air for 2004," he said. "We must be responsive to the motorsports business and work to deliver an excellent racing and entertainment experience for Road America's race fans, sponsors, riders and drivers."
In 2003 Road America negotiated, with race legend Mario Andretti's help, a two-year contract with CART to end in 2004.
"It appears that there may be a new management group who may now define Champ Cars." Bruggenthies said. We'll keep the lines of communication open, and like other open-wheel race fans, hope for the best."