Long Beach could still be up for sale beyond F1 rumors

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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.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”