Zak Brown takes name out from IndyCar CEO consideration

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Zak Brown, who IndyCar has long courted to be its new CEO, told multiple reporters Tuesday he is withdrawing his name from consideration for the position.

Instead, Brown will focus his time and resources on Just Marketing International, his Zionsville, Ind.-based firm that has been the one of the most successful sponsor selling agencies in motorsports.

“I’m a huge fan of IndyCar, it’s a great product and it certainly would have been a great opportunity and challenge,” Brown told the Associated Press. “Mark (Miles, Hulman & Co. CEO) is fully aware of my passion for IndyCar and my desire to contribute to the series’ success in any way I can, but at this time that cannot be in the CEO role.”

Brown will relocate with his family to England this summer, to expand JMI’s business interests. Some of Brown’s experience with JMI was recently highlighted in a blog post authored by MotorSport Magazine’s Gordon Kirby.

The restructuring of IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s organizational structure has been underway since Miles’ appointment; the latest hire was Derrick Walker, confirmed by IndyCar on Monday.

Walker is IndyCar’s new President of Competition and Operations, with other IndyCar top leadership duties falling, for the moment, to Miles and interim IndyCar CEO/IMS CEO Jeff Belskus.

FIA returns Manor’s F1 entry fee for 2017

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Good news: Manor Grand Prix Racing Limited got a refund of an entry fee it paid to the FIA to run in this year’s F1 season.

Bad news: Manor still hasn’t run this year, and won’t be for the foreseeable future (especially as Manor’s former leadership staff is moving that team into FIA WEC’s new-look LMP1 class in addition to its LMP2 program).

Manor Group’s receivership outfit, Just Racing Services Limited, went into administration earlier this year. As there was no new buyer for the F1 team, Manor dropped from the 2017 grid before the season.

The FIA said it would return its entry fee to help Manor Group pay off outstanding debts.

It basically means nothing in the grand scheme of things since Manor missed out on 10th place in the constructor’s standings in 2016 and fell from the F1 grid as a result, but hey, it’s a goodwill gesture going into Thanksgiving this week.