Former CART championship and Indy 500 winning owner Steve Horne putting the ‘Super’ in V8 Supercars

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After accomplishing pretty much what he wanted when he came to America first as a team manager and then a team owner – including an Indianapolis 500 win (1986, with Bobby Rahal behind the wheel), two CART championships and five Indy Lights titles – Steve Horne decided to return to his native New Zealand two years ago.

But Horne isn’t the retiring type. Nor is he part of a “Where Are They Now?” question.

If anything, Horne is as busy as he’s ever been, both running his own team as well as serving as chairman of the V8 Supercars Commission in New Zealand and Australia, according to a story on Stuff.com.nz.

Horne has helped reenergize the V8 series with a number of changes, most notably its new super sprint format, as part of his role of overseeing rules, regulations and formats.

The super sprint format includes two 100 kilometer races on the same day, plus 10-minute qualifying sessions, and then a 200 kilometer main event the following day.

Horne still keeps his hand somewhat in racing in America, serving as manager for driver and defending Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan.

But back in New Zealand, Horne is has approached his involvement in V8 Supercars in much the same fashion as when he first came to the U.S. to become involved with the now-defunct CART series.

“It has given me another perspective and I am enjoying it,” Horne told Stuff.com.nz. “I can also look at things from a competitor’s viewpoint about the issues they face.

“Racing is a tough business on the track and off it. Hopefully I can bring a level viewpoint to it.”

With the V8 series expected to grow and become even more popular – Roger Penske is reportedly interested in fielding a team next year, perhaps with current NASCAR driver Marcus Ambrose behind the wheel – Horne is certainly enjoying his new challenge.

“I am impressed by the quality of the teams and the quality of the drivers,” he said. “It is a parity formula which is designed to give everyone equal opportunity.

“I think it has a great future. It’s well-recognized in Australia (and) has an excellent television and media package. It is really, really popular in New Zealand and it’s great racing.”

Also check out Horne’s recent Q&A interview on V8Supercars.com.AU, as well as the video below that gives a great retrospective on Horne’s career in CART and Indy Lights.

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Wickens tops final Road America practice

Photo: IndyCar
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Robert Wickens showed the way in final practice for Sunday’s KOHLER Grand Prix, topping the speed charts with a quick time of 1:42.991, the only time below 1:43 during the session.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, Simon Pagenaud, Alexander Rossi, and Graham Rahal completed the top five.

The lone incident of the session came right at the end, when Zach Veach went for a spin exiting Bill Mitchell Bend (turn 13). However, Veach did not suffer any damage in the incident.

Times are below. Qualifying begins at 4:00 p.m. ET (3:00 p.m. local time) and will air on NBCSN at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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