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An Open Letter to Randy Bernard

February 14, 2010
Last week, IRL blogging stalwart, Pressdog, encouraged his readers to write a letter to the new IRL CEO Randy Bernard as a way of getting fans of the sport to air their views and get their opinions across and I thought I would do the same.
So in my own lamentable style:

Dear Randy, 

I hope this finds you well.
Although the Indycar Series is primarily based in the United States, I felt that it might be in someway beneficial to garner the thoughts of a racing fan not based in the US – currently I am based in London, United Kingdom.

As a fan of motor racing, I appreciate good, clean, but hard racing. My jaw drops whenever cars are racing side-by-side at less than one foot apart at 230 miles per hour on an oval or when the drivers are to-ing and fro-ing on a road or street circuit. How the drivers handle the speed of an oval, the sweeps of a road course and the tight funnel-like features of street racing is the appeal and I am often in awe when they don’t crash those fast and heavy machines, because that is where the skill lies. In fact, if anything, there is an awful lot of grace to how these cars are handled.

My biggest gripe about the series is that every car out there is the same in every way and often my mind drifts back to the extra competitive nature that numerous engine manufacturers brought in years gone by. It brought an extra dimension to the series and was another battle to be fought.

Just like fans have favourite drivers and favourite teams, fans also had favourite engine company’s to support – whether they be a Honda guy, a Ford fan or a Toyota follower, we all had our favourites. The sounds of those different machines were often as exciting as the soundbites from drivers and teams and could even tell a story or two. 

I have been to oval races before when the old CART series visited the UK some years ago. I was captivated by the speed, but was also astounded that the drivers themselves were approachable and fan-friendly. They had a wonderful attitude and sold the series to fans, not through marketing, but by being genuine.
Unfortunately being based where I am, there is little chance of me going to a race at the moment, but I never miss them on TV. It is an exciting series and I am glad to be a fan; however the series should not be complacent. It has made great strides in the last couple of years following the merge with Champ Car, but it need to keep on building and keep on moving forward. I find it difficult to believe that there is such a small fanbase for a series like this in the US, especially one with such a vibrant history.

Lastly, I would like to welcome you and congratulate you on your new position as CEO of the IZOD Indycar Series. Here’s wishing both you and the IRL a bright and successful future.

All the best,
Leigh O’Gorman
The Formula 1 and Motorsports Archive Centre

 

Should anyone else want to contribute to this, according Mr Pressdog, there are five simple rules:

1) Be polite. Pretend you are talking to Randy in person, and he knows your name. Not only is this good manners, it’s the only way to have even a remote chance that he will take you seriously. 

2) Looking for ideas on what to say? Here ya go. Choose a few of these:

  • What do you like/dislike most about IndyCar racing?
  • What advantages does IndyCar have on NASCAR and vice-versa?
  • What makes or prevents you from going to races?
  • Why do you watch on TV or what prevents you from watching?
  • What’s the biggest competitor (in all forms, not just racing) for the time and attention you give IndyCar?
  • When friends ask why they should watch an IndyCar race, what’s your answer?
  • If you were CEO, you’re first two moves would be …?
  • Biggest opportunities and threats to the league.

3) Keep it as short as possible. Randy has things going on. He can’t plow through 1000 five-pagers.

4) Please, please, please don’t flash back to 1994. Let’s not re-fight The Split, OK? Life is too short.

5) Anonymous letters are for cowards.If you can’t sign your real name to it, don’t send it.

An enthusiastic Bernard was a guest on Trackside on Thursday night with Curt Cavin and was heard to asking fans to get in touch – he may regret that soon… In the meantime, e-mails and whatnot can be directed to the Indycar website, while letters can be posted to:

Randy Bernard
CEO, Izod IndyCar Series
4790 W 16th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46222

Now go forth and write!!
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