Saturday, February 12, 2005

Was Dan Gurney A Visionary

In 1978 Dan Gurney foresaw the need to reorganize Champ Car racing into a coherent business for the betterment of all concerned. He wrote a white paper and sent it to all of the team owners. In this white paper he describes what eventually became CART. It was to be controlled by a czar with absolute control much like Bernie Ecclestone of F1. As we all know that was not how it was implemeted and in the end CART failed, mostly due to the lack of coherent leadership. Oddly, if we look carefully at the business as proposed by Gurney in 1978 it had all of the ingredients that we now hear the new owners speak to. Perhaps the new owners have learned from the failures from the past and are charting a course of success for the new Champ Car World Series. I don't think there is large enough market for both the IRL and CCWS to survive in. At some point in the future one will not survive. The survivor will likely be the best business. The best business will have the best leader. It looks like Mr. Gurney was indeed a visionary.


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