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New F1 chairman Carey keen to develop fan base in America

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New Formula 1 chairman Chase Carey is keen to capitalize on the opportunity the series has in American and develop its American fan base in the long-term.

Liberty Media Corporation confirmed earlier this week that it would be acquiring F1 in a deal worth $8 billion, subject to approval from all third parties.

Liberty announced that 21st Century Fox vice-chairman Carey would be taking over as chairman of F1, working alongside CEO Bernie Ecclestone.

The arrival of an American company in the management of the sport led to speculation that there may be additional F1 races in the United States to bolster the series’ presence.

Carey and Ecclestone spoke with reporters on Thursday about the opportunities that lie in the United States, a market F1 has enjoyed a mixed relationship with for much of its history.

When asked if Liberty would work to crack the US market, Ecclestone said: “I hope they do, I really do.

“I’ve been knocking doors there for an awful long time.”

Carey spoke widely about the opportunities presented in the United States, but hastened to add that F1 needed to protect its European roots.

“I want it to be made clear we didn’t make this move because of America,” Carey said.

“America’s an opportunity. I think we can do a lot more in America. It’s probably more long-term than short-term.

“It will take time to build the audience, but there’s a much more passionate fan base than anyone recognizes in America. I think we can do a lot to develop that.

“Realistically it’s a global sport. We’re not trying to Americanize the sport. I think we have great respect for the European foundations of it. Europe is critically important to us, to build on that, opportunities to grow it.

“Certainly, the US is a big opportunity long-term, but this isn’t an American company Americanizing the sport. This is a great global sport, a great franchise, and it’s one we’re going to continue to build with the things Bernie’s built over the decades.

“It is an evolution. This a great sport with great brands, great franchises, great stars, great technology. We want to make it everything it can be and continue to build it and work with Bernie to make it bigger and better.”

Ecclestone and Carey were asked about their respective roles, with some observers believing there is a need for F1 to have a single leader.

“We’re dictators,” Ecclestone joked when reminded of former Renault F1 chief Flavio Briatore’s belief that the sport needed a dictator.

“We’re going to work together,” Carey added.

“The best businesses are partnerships. We’ll work together as a team and that’s my goal, to work together as a team.”

Chip Ganassi to be honored in Petersen Museum exhibit

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This Saturday, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles will debut a new exhibit honoring one of the most successful teams in American motorsports.

Titled “Chip Ganassi Racing: Fast Tracks to Success | 30th Anniversary Tribute,” the exhibit will display several significant cars, trophies, and other artifacts from CGR’s storied racing history. Ganassi will formally be honored April 15, 2020 at the Petersen’s Annual Racers Night before the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Dario Franchitti’s 2010 Dallara IR-05. Photo Kahn Media

Vehicles displayed in the exhibit will include the 1983 Patrick Wildcat MK9B raced by Chip Ganassi to his best finish in the Indianapolis 500, the Lexus-powered Riley MK X1 raced by Scott Dixon in the 2006 24 Hours of Daytona, the Dallara IR-05 driven to victory by Dario Franchitti in the 2010 Indianapolis 500, the Ford GT that finished first in the LM GTE category at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 driven by Kurt Busch in the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series.

“Chip Ganassi is an influential member of the automotive community, and his team’s penchant for success is a reflection of his raw skill and passion for the sport,” said Petersen Automotive Museum Executive Director Terry L. Karges. “Complemented by a visually dynamic and compelling 180-degree video, ‘Chip Ganassi Racing’ will celebrate the team’s victories and tell its story while taking visitors on a trip down memory lane.” 

“Chip Ganassi Racing: Fast Tracks to Success | 30th Anniversary Tribute” will run through January 31, 2021. The museum will host a ticketed opening reception on December 13. More information on the Petersen Museum can be found at www.petersen.org.

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