Long Beach could still be up for sale beyond F1 rumors

3 Comments

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.

Formula One: Recapping the past week’s news

Photo: Getty Images
Leave a comment

While the FIA Formula 1 World Championship is still two months away from beginning its 2018 season, this past week did bring about news items that filled out the 2018 grid and shed some light on individual team and car launches as the season-opening Australian Grand Prix draws closer.

Below is a recap of F1 news from this past week:

Williams Signs Sirotkin for 2018 Drive, Names Kubica as Reserve Driver

The saga of the second seat at Williams Martini Racing was finally resolved early on in the week, with former Renault Sport F1 Team test driver Sergey Sirotkin officially confirmed as a teammate to the incumbent Lance Stroll in 2018.

The announcement concluded months of speculation that saw multiple drivers test for the team in an auditioning capacity. Most notably, Robert Kubica looked to be a main contender for the seat before Sirotkin emerged as the favorite.

However, Kubica, who has not raced in Formula 1 since a devastating rally accident in 2011 left him with brutal injuries to his right arm, was named as a reserve and development driver for the team.

This announcement also completes the 2018 Formula 1 driver lineup, with all 11 teams having their seats now filled. Among those who were left without F1 drives are Paul Di Resta, who drove for Williams at the Hungarian Grand Prix in relief of Felipe Massa and even tested with them during the Winter months, and Antonio Giovinazzi, who filled in for Pascal Wehrlein at the Australian and Chinese Grands Prix.

Former Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat is also without a race seat for 2018, but did sign on with Scuderia Ferrari as a development driver.

Mercedes, McLaren Reveal Dates for Their 2018 Car Launches

While most teams have not yet released dates for when their 2018 cars will be publicly launched, three notables have.

Mercedes AMG Petronas will introduce its 2018 challenger on February 22nd, the same day Ferrari is doing so, while McLaren will unveil its car one day later on the 23rd.

Testing will commence on February 26th at Circuit de Catalunya.

Follow@KyleMLavigne