The IZOD IndyCar Series heads to the streets of Long Beach, Calif. this weekend. The track – owned by KV Racing Technology co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven and his fellow ex-Champ Car head Gerry Forsythe – isn’t for sale, but rumors are swirling it could be if the price is right.
In a report, Gordon Kirby has tipped that it could go back in Formula One’s hand, via Chris Pook, in a story reported by my colleague Keith Collantine this morning. But if that doesn’t materialize, Long Beach could still change hands.
NBC Sports Network pit reporter Robin Miller, in a story posted Monday on SPEED.com, said Green-Savoree Racing Promotions is looking at possibly acquiring Long Beach. GSRP owns Mid-Ohio and promotes IndyCar races in St. Petersburg and Toronto.
Kalkhoven told Miller at Barber Motorsports Park they wouldn’t consider it, but “Not unless it was stupid money. Then we would have to listen.”
Additionally, Miller reported that the new unified sports car championship – United Sports Car Racing, run by NASCAR and its sports car head Jim France – could also be a player. The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón runs on the undercard to IndyCar this weekend, as it has since 2007, while the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series raced at Long Beach in 2006.
The 40th anniversary race at Long Beach is in 2014, and longtime race president Jim Michaelian said he “hadn’t heard anything recently” related to any buying interest.
One of the issues Miller noted was the reduced sanctioning fee of $500,000 that Long Beach has paid to IndyCar, which was part of the merger agreement between IndyCar and Champ Car in 2008. That could rise to a higher standard rate north of $1 million next year.