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.
MotorSportsTalk continues its review of the Verizon IndyCar Series field, driver-by-driver, with a look at Ryan Briscoe. Despite not having a ride to start the year, Briscoe ended strongly courtesy of a series of strong runs at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Ryan Briscoe, No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
- 2014: 11th Place, Best Finish 4th, Best Start 4th, 1 Top-5, 11 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 12.8 Avg. Start, 10.6 Avg. Finish
- 2015: 18th Place (8 starts), Best Finish 5th, Best Start 2nd, 1 Top-5, 4 Top-10, 10 Laps Led, 17.8 Avg. Start, 12.0 Avg. Finish
For those who slag on Briscoe as being undeserving of top level equipment, his 2015 second half provided a friendly reminder of his overall ability level in what might be less than the best machinery.
Briscoe was thrust into the No. 5 car under trying circumstances to begin with, getting all of an hour’s worth practice replacing the injured James Hinchcliffe ahead of the Indianapolis 500. But subsequent drives on the ovals there, Texas, Fontana, Milwaukee and Iowa – even if the results were less than ideal – showcased a driver determined to show to the paddock he still had it, and then some. His defense against Juan Pablo Montoya in Sonoma was nothing short of brilliant, and courtesy of double points he actually finished ahead of full-season driver Stefano Coletti.
The Australian immediately gelled with the SPM team, engineer Allen McDonald and race strategist Robert Gue. He continues to prove he’s an asset, as he has enjoyed multiple opportunities to extend his career in various arenas of motorsport in both open-wheel and sports cars, the latter of which he won at both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with Corvette Racing this year.
Following an early retirement for Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton has closed even more on his third Formula 1 World Championship.
View it above in the race recap from the 2015 Russian Grand Prix.