Former Champ Car boss and Indy 500-winning team owner Kalkhoven dies aged 77

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In the round-up: Kevin Kalkhoven, the former head of Champ Car who later co-owned a team which won the Indianapolis 500, has died at the age of 77.

In brief

Kevin Kalkhoven dies

Kevin Kalkhoven, the man who tried to salvage the series once known as CART after it fell into bankruptcy, has died at the age of 77 following a period of illness.

Together with Gerald Forsythe and Paul Gentilozzi, Kalkhoven bought the collapsed series in 2004. He also acquired engine builder Cosworth from Ford, ensuring a supply of motors for the championship, which continued for four more years as the Champ Car World Series.

But in 2008, as the series continued to struggle, Kalkhoven sold the championship to Tony George, who had provoked a split in American open-wheel racing by setting up his rival Indy Racing League 12 years earlier. The reunified championship is now known as IndyCar.

In 2013 the KVRT team Kalkhoven ran with Jimmy Vasser scored victory in the Indianapolis 500. It closed four years later, having scored its final victory in Detroit with Sebastien Bourdais.

Kalkhoven continued to serve as a chairman of the board at Cosworth. “Since his involvement with Cosworth in 2004, he had been a key source of inspiration for the business,” said CEO and chairman Hal Reisiger. “His passion for motorsport is well documented, but he was also a visionary and pioneer of future technology.”

Kalkhoven also co-owned the Long Beach Grand Prix Association. “The entire Grand Prix Association of Long Beach family is saddened to hear of the passing of our co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven,” said president and CEO Jim Michaelian. “He has provided strong support and visionary leadership over the past 16 years and his contributions to our company as well as to the racing community will be sorely missed.

“Our condolences go out to his wife Kimm and all of the Kalkhoven family in these difficult times.”

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said he was “deeply saddened” by the loss of “a great colleague and friend, whose business success was mirrored by his generosity to great causes.”

McLaren SP hires Penske engineer Ward

McLaren SP has hired Penske race engineer Gavin Ward for the upcoming IndyCar season. Ward was previously at Red Bull during their title-winning run between 2010 and 2013. “Gavin will play a key role in our long-term ambitions in the NTT IndyCar series,” said McLaren SP in a statement.

Family trio join Prema’s Formula Regional Asia squad

Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema will field a three-car entry in the Formula Regional Asia series for sisters Amna and Hamda Al Qubaisi and their 46-year-old GT racing father Khaled. “We worked with Khaled, Amna, and Hamda several times during the years, and it will be special to field them all together this time,” said Prema boss Rene Roisin.

Miniature Monaco measures 38 metres

Hamburg’s famed Miniatur Wonderland in its historic Speicherstadt is now home to a recreation of the Monaco grand prix circuit, complete with a Porsche 99X Electric Formula E car. As with the rest of the exhibits they are rendered in 1:87 scale. The car is six centimetres long and was recreated using a CAD model supplied by Porsche Motorsport.

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Comment of the day

Yuki Tsunoda is lucky to have been given a second season at AlphaTauri, reckons @Mmertens:

Even if it’s clear that Yuki has raw speed and that he improved mentally after Albon’s coaching started, his win or wall attitude and lack of maturity played against on him. His radio outbursts on first half off the season showed how he wasn’t mentally ready to cope with pressure and his lows were much more pronounced than his highs.

To make matters worse, the fact that AlphaTauri had one of the most balanced and well rounded cars on the grid and a great performing Gasly didn’t do him any favours and extrapolated his weaknesses. It looked that he wasn’t ready yet for F1. And his lack of performance cost the team really high.

AlphaTauri should be fifth in constructors this year, and it wasn’t only because of Yuki. I can just wonder what Albon would be able to reach in this AlphaTauri in 2021, but Yuki for me was a let-down, and only his Honda ties and Japan market helped him have a second season.

Like I said in the beginning, he has speed and he can be exciting, but he will need to step up mentally and be more consistent in 2022. It will be a make or break season for him, I hope he succeeds. He’s really lucky to have a second chance.
@Mmertens

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Fukobayashi, Yeezy918, F1Alleycat, Fudge Kobayashi and Yezy918!

On this day in motorsport

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 27 comments on “Former Champ Car boss and Indy 500-winning team owner Kalkhoven dies aged 77”

    1. RandomMallard
      5th January 2022, 0:17

      RIP Kevin. Seems like he truly loved the sport.

      Interesting news for both FRA (though how much of that is a publicity thing I don’t know), and for McLaren SP in Indy.

      I partially agree with Richard Aucock. I still plan on watching most of the races back now they’re on F1TV in the UK (or extended highlights of some) because there were some absolute crackers last year, but everything including and after Brazil (apart from maybe Qatar) is probably gonna remain off limits for me. Just poor decision after poor decision imo.

      COTD: Yeah pretty much agree with that. Yukio finally seemed to be coming good at the very end of the year (Abu Dhabi in particular), and I hope he can carry that into 2022.

      1. The thing in that Aucock tweet that I take most issue with is the final sentence:

        Still waiting to see how you’ll resolve it, @fia.

        Yes, change is 100% necessary, and I hope that it does come in time for the 2022 season. But it has to be done thoroughly and properly, and we’re only 3 and a half weeks from the race in question. Part of the reason we’re in the mess we are right now is because the current rulebook seems to be a collection of quick-fix/knee-jerk reactions to previous incidents, that might solve the scenario that prompted the change but cause another (possibly even bigger) issue elsewhere. I hope the FIA go through their rulebook in detail to try and fix it for the long-term, and don’t just try and patch everything that caused Abu Dhabi, because that creates the potential for more areas of conflict in the future.

        They shouldn’t try and rush into short term solutions that create longer-term problems. Give them a bit of time.

        1. But it has to be done thoroughly and properly, and we’re only 3 and a half weeks from the race in question.

          While I agree that this needs handling thoroughly and correctly, the FIA also need to be seen to be doing something about it. If they just leave things exactly as they are for next season, with a vaguely announced commission which, but their own words, is to look at how to better communicate the rules with the fans… Well, that sounds like they are going to do nothing worthwhile, just protect their own backsides and blame everyone else.

          Now, some concrete announcements of thorough investigations and detailed reviews of the rules and the roles and responsibilities of officials, preferably with independent involvement and a transparent process, would give the impression something meaningful was happening. I think that’s what needs to be seen as “how [they’ll] resolve it”: Not the actual outcome but seeing real investigations launched.

          1. @drmouse I completely agree, but that process will take a bit of time. Not only are we less than 4 weeks after the incident, but it also came slap bang in the middle of the Christmas and New Year period, where I assume most people, at the FIA and independent people (auditors or inquirers etc) are taking a bit of a break. If we don’t hear anything soon, I will get a bit more concerned, but at the moment I’m willing to give them a little bit of leeway, as long as something positive does come out of this.

            1. Fair enough, I can respect that. Personally, all I have seen so far indicates to me that there is going to be a whitewash, nothing which indicates that anything positive will come out of it. Therefore, as much as I know that it takes time to get things going, I will need to see some movement before I back down. Once I see even a hint of some positive movement, I’ll be happy to give them the benefit of the doubt, but not before that.

            2. @drmouse I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised by the words so far of the new FIA President. He’s admitted there’s a lot wrong with the rules, and has committed, at least in wording, to trying to improve them. Now he has to follow up on them. I’m kind of the opposite to you, I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt for a small bit of time just to get everything in order and settled down, but then I do want to see progress or I will also start to get frustrated. It won’t be forgivable forever. However, I equally understand and respect your opinion.

        2. The thing in that Aucock tweet that I take most issue with is the final sentence:

          “Still waiting to see how you’ll resolve it, @fia.”

          Not sure how the tweet suggests only short term or knee jerk fixes, only that he is keen to know what may be done. Not even sure how his view and yours are mutually exclusive.

          1. Just to be clear… in comparing viewpoints I refer only to the the sentence you highlighted and not the rest of his comments.

    2. ‘Formula 1 will present upgrades introduced by five teams after qualifying at each race weekend during 2022’

      Will that be with or without Techno music playing?

    3. Why are you including that Aucock tweet ?

      1. As a red flag to the keyboard warriors after a few quite days over Christmas and New Year? :)

        1. The worrying part is that it’s probably deliberate.

      2. It’s big news. How will F1 possibly survive if Some Guy doesn’t want to watch it anymore?

    4. I’ve never once post-Abu Dhabi GP had any bitter feeling towards F1 as a series.
      Yes, I hope nothing similar happens on FIA’s side, but I won’t abandon anything over the last race debacle.

      1. I feel pretty much the same @jerejj. But clearly there are still quite a few people who want to express their feelings over it.
        And I guess keeping that sentiment alive might also help push the new FIA leadership into accepting a real change. Let’s hope they do really improve the rules of racing and make them clear and reasonable instead of obfuscated in hundreds of pages of partly contradictory.

        1. And I guess keeping that sentiment alive might also help push the new FIA leadership into accepting a real change. Let’s hope they do really improve the rules of racing and make them clear and reasonable instead of obfuscated in hundreds of pages of partly contradictory.

          @bascb Could not agree more with this. To me, Abu Dhabi was not an incident in isolation, but the culmination of a series of things that could easily have been avoided. This is partly due to poor decisions from FIA officials, but also from a rulebook that is more of a bodged-together collection of quick-fix, knee-jerk rules than a coherent and sensical set of regulations. For example, is a red flag restart lap back to the grid a SC lap or a formation lap, because at the minute it has a selection of rules from each of them? This is more what I’m annoyed about after Abu Dhabi. Yes, the end was farcical and unfair, but not that unsurprising considering the state of the sport and the officials.

    5. Richard Aucock seems to be the definition of a biased journalist.

      There are many fans (Lewis fans, British fans, f1 fans) upset by the ending of that race which is absolutely fair, it was rather farcial. However I know many fans who, despite the ending or possibly because of it, are still committed to watching f1 in 2022 and are looking forward to it, myself included

    6. Why is a Tweet from some random guy (who judging by his Twitter history is a bit of a Lewis super-fan) considered news?

      1. He’s a British sports journalist, so…

    7. Get a bad feeling this site is sinking. Losing Dieter (a massive blow), posting baiting articles about “does f1 need a new race director” and now random baiting tweets from irrelevant people.

      1. @cduk_mugello Is that really true about Dieter? His last article was from 3rd of january.

        1. I was not aware of it either, but he announced it on his twitter:
          https://twitter.com/RacingLines/status/1477190136618270720

          It is indeed a huge blow for Racefans.

          1. @qeki and @maimai It was on the Round-Up yesterday. Will Wood has become Assistant Editor (first full-time member of staff other than Keith), while Dieter is moving on to another project, although there are still a few more articles from him to go live on this site over the “coming weeks”

        2. @qeki

          Yes unfortunately he is moving on. No disrespect to other authors, but I enjoyed his insight most. Without a journalist inside the paddock walls I’m not sure where this site goes…

          1. Well I totally missed that Round-up. That explaines it.

    8. COTD. One thing that worked for Yuki’s favor was the lack of drivers in RBJ

    9. The predictable comments from some of the usual suspects here to Richard’s tweet are hilarious. Calling him irrelevant, a Lewis superfan etc. Much as you may want everyone to move on and sweep the Abu Dhabi debacle under the carpet, that won’t happen as quickly as you wish.

    Comments are closed.