IRL: Access departs Kansas

IRL: Access departs Kansas

The field for Sunday's Indy Racing League IndyCar Series Argent Mortgage Kansas Indy 300 race at Kansas Speedway is down to 21 cars this morning, after Access Motorsports packed their trailer and departed this state-of-the-art 1.5-mile oval...

The field for Sunday's Indy Racing League IndyCar Series Argent Mortgage Kansas Indy 300 race at Kansas Speedway is down to 21 cars this morning, after Access Motorsports packed their trailer and departed this state-of-the-art 1.5-mile oval outside Kansas City after the garages closed Friday night.

Greg Ray.
Photo by indyracing.com/Ron McQueeney.
Access Motorsports' financial difficulties have been detailed over the past few months as the team failed to practice for the 88th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race until the morning of Bump Day, when Greg Ray put his #13 Panoz G Force/Honda car in the field.

A race-day accident involving Sam Hornish Jr. and Darren Manning at Indy placed Ray's damaged car back on the trailer.

Although the team and Greg Ray did compete at Texas, finishing seventh in his home race, and at Richmond, where he took the 15th running spot, Access was unable to make a payment to Ilmor Engineering, the manufacturing company which supplied the outfit with its power mills.

According to Honda sources, a certain amount of money was due Ilmor by Thursday evening (July 1st) at 5PM EST. The company gave Access an extension until noon Friday and the team was unable to comply with funding.

"We sincerely regret that Greg Ray and his Access Motorsports team will be unable to complete the 2004 IRL IndyCar Series season," an official statement from Honda said.

"Greg and his team have demonstrated great ability and commitment since joining Honda's Indy program last year, as evidenced by his front row qualifying performance at Twin Ring Motegi [in April] and his frequent top- 10 finishes. We understand," the statement continued, "the financial realities of the sport but will miss the contributions of Greg and the Access team."

Access Motorsports was the first Honda-powered team to take on the Panoz G Force as its chassis of choice, leading chief designer Simon Marshall to comment, "We need more cars in these races. Access Motorsports has been with us for a couple of years now and we are grateful to them for opening the door to other Honda teams, so that they could see the value of the Panoz G Force chassis."

The Indy Racing League simply noted in its daily press briefing this morning: "Access Motorsports has withdrawn its entry for driver Greg Ray from this weekend's event."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Greg Ray , Sam Hornish Jr.