Like many other teams, drivers, sponsors, and racetracks, another ex-Champ Car entity has switched over to the IRL IndyCar Series: former CCWS executive VP and race director Tony Cotman. The New Zealander announced his departure from the one ...
Like many other teams, drivers, sponsors, and racetracks, another ex-Champ Car entity has switched over to the IRL IndyCar Series: former CCWS executive VP and race director Tony Cotman. The New Zealander announced his departure from the one open-wheel series a couple weeks ago and today it was confirmed, as rumored for a number of days, he would take on a similar role in IndyCar.
Cotman's official duties will be assisting competition president Brian Barnhart for all IndyCar races and taking on the senior role of race director for the supporting Indy Pro Series events. He earned much trust and respect among the Champ Car fraternity and should be able to do the same now.
Cotman is no stranger to the IndyCar Series, having worked with one of its top teams in Andretti Green Racing prior to moving to Champ Car in 2005. Cotman served as a mechanic and later in a managerial role with the squad, which had transformed identities from Team Green to AGR as it is now known with Michael Andretti's investment in the team, and its switch from CART to IndyCar in 2003.
Despite all the tumult and cloudiness that surrounds open-wheel today, Cotman sounded like a man determined to make the best of his new situation and take the first step in restoring open-wheel racing to a place not seen since the split of 1996. "I'm a big dreamer, and you put the right group together and pull in a common direction we'll be fine," Cotman commented of his opportunity. "In the long term, obviously the goal is to have a successful open-wheel racing series. I believe like many others that we'll end up one dominant or unified series over the next few years. And I know where I want to be."
Cotman's experience in both series is one of his biggest assets, having seen a situation from the inside very few have had the chance to. Now he will be in the other court, immersing himself among the front-office staff at IndyCar. Needless to say he is excited of his switch.
"Significantly because of (the Indianapolis 500), the league obviously is in a pretty good position," Cotman said. "They have a clear vision of where they want to go, and that's what attracts me. I've had the luxury of being part of very good race teams that have competed in both series and have come from the sanctioning organization of Champ Car, and hopefully I can apply here and contribute toward where I believe the future of open-wheel racing will be and that's right here at the IRL."
Barnhart is just as thrilled to have gained Cotman as a piece of the IndyCar Series, not least because it will alleviate some of the tasks he will be assigned. "We're very pleased to have someone of Tony's caliber join our staff," Barnhart noted. "Tony has earned the respect of everyone in Indy-car racing by being hard-working, intelligent and fair. The addition of Tony enhances our competition and race operations efforts."