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.
Brendon Hartley says scoring a point on his Formula 1 debut would be “a dream” after being resigned to last place on the grid for the United States Grand Prix following an engine penalty.
Porsche factory driver Hartley was drafted in by Toro Rosso to replace Pierre Gasly for the USGP when the Frenchman was ruled out due to clashing commitments in Super Formula.
Despite having not driven an F1 car since 2012, Hartley came within one-tenth of a second of making it through to Q2 on Saturday at the Circuit of The Americas, ultimately qualifying 18th.
“Obviously I’d love to be quicker but we knew we were starting at the back, so we put a lot of focus on long runs, getting the peak performance out of this Pirelli tire I didn’t get today,” Hartley told NBCSN after the race.
“In FP3 I had a good feeling. There’s a lot of quirky things to manage with these tires. Honestly I should be happy with how the weekend’s gone so far.”
The New Zealander will start last due to a 25-place grid penalty for changes made to his power unit ahead of practice on Friday, and is daring to dream of making the top 10 in his first race out of a sports car for more than five years.
“I don’t do the 24 hours completely alone!” Hartley joked. “It’s quick. It’s physical to drive. I’ll be happy to be done after an hour and a half.
“A point would be a dream starting from the back. If I can move forward and put a race together, I’ll be happy.”
The United States Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 2pm ET on Sunday.