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Thanks for a great recollection of
the early years of Mid-Ohio (“Mid-O
Five-O,” RACER, September). I was
privileged to be the regional
executive of the NE Ohio Region of
the SCCA at the time and was very
involved with Les Griebling and his
partners developing the track. It’s
amazing that the track was laid out
with no real plans, just a bunch of
us drivers and Les’ grader.
As chairman of the driver schools
and all the races for the first several
years of operation, I enjoyed the
great drivers who participated in the
events. At one time, the track record
was held by a go-kart and a “grudge
race” was run between the kart and
Bob Johnson’s Cobra. Great fun.
Fred Marik Las Vegas, Nev.
Green options for Indy
Thanks for the article on green
racing (“Focus on green,” RACER,
August). Some ideas to race green
that I have are:
1) Have a 500-mile race at
Indianapolis with, say, only five
gallons of fuel allowed.
2) Allow no tire changes during
the race, or allow only with a
3) Have a 500-mile race with no
The bigger picture
I was disappointed to learn that
Newman/Haas and Chip Ganassi
Racing were protesting the results
of the New Hampshire IndyCar race.
Not all that surprised – particularly
in the case of Ganassi, who I suspect
has ulterior motives – but
of the New Hampshire IndyCar race.
disappointed. OK, maybe they have
a point that there isn’t a stipulation
in the rulebook that restarts can be
set aside by the o;cials, but anyone
could see that that last restart was
not legitimate, and you shouldn’t
penalize people for either being
cautious (like Ryan Hunter-Reay in
the lead) or having their results
ruined (like Will Power) in what
everyone agreed was an incorrect
and downright dumb decision to
restart in those conditions.
It seems to me that, ultimately,
the whole purpose in having a chief
steward is to have someone able to
analyze these situations and decide
the best (or least-worst) course of
action. And to appeal that decision
after the fact not only pours gasoline
on a PR fire IndyCar was already
fighting, but also could potentially
poison the whole championship
battle, leaving it up to the courts to
decide months after most people
have stopped caring, much like the
1981 and ’02 Indianapolis 500
debacles. Is that really what
Newman/Haas and Ganassi want to
see? I would hope not.
Ken Richardson Eureka, Calif.
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IndyCar alternate aero kits
on hold until 2013
So, when everyone has had a
full year to test, research, and
race with the Dallara packages,
who would want to start all
over next year with a brand-new package? This is exactly
what Dallara wants, and I’ll be a
trophy on Milka Duno’s
fireplace if four out of every
five teams aren’t still using
Dallara after 2012.
I agree that motor racing should
be an innovator when it comes to
developing green transportation –
John Angstadt via e-mail
If the obvious technical
limitations are written on the
wall mid-2012, then the chance
to dominate the 2013 Indy 500
alone may justify the expense
for these companies.
MOST ENTERTAINING LETTER...
I guess I realize now why just
about every racing series except
IndyCar has its own video game –
if not a series of video games –
the racing has become secondary
to the officiating.
I can’t remember how many
times this season we’ve been
treated to the spectacle of
low-grade moves that haven’t
resulted in a penalty for some
drivers, while other contact that
appears clearly incidental has
brought down IndyCar’s hammer
of doom on others. It would
certainly be a drag on the
entertainment value of a video
game to know that you could be
randomly pulled in for a penalty
every time you make a pass.
peril of predictability from races?
The game could also offer bonus
points for most creative postrace
protest, angry interview or “bird
flip” – you could call it the
What’s really funny about all
this is that IndyCar fans have long
derided NASCAR as the WWE of
racing. Well, pot, meet kettle.
Ryan Bolinger via e-mail
It will be the Dallara safety cell,
and then the Dallara aero kits
only? Why on earth would any
other manufacturer (Chevrolet
or Lotus aero programs) want
to stay committed to the series
if a competitor got actual track
time to do real-world testing for
an entire season before they
were allowed to?! Really
disappointed in Randy Bernard.
Although I would not have said
so a couple months ago, I think
it is the right decision. There
will be enough change for the
teams to deal with in 2013
without attempting to juggle
the various body parts. The
reality that the new car is
going to need much testing
and preparation before 2013
has sunk in.