Motorsports director: IRL, Champ merger good for state, competition

February 27 2008

The merger of the Indy Racing League and Champ Car World Series is good for the racing industry in Indiana and may lead to more - rather than less - competition in open wheel racing, an Indiana State University professor says.

The unification of the two racing leagues, announced Wednesday (Feb. 27) will lead to “some short term pain” that is typical of a merger in any industry, “but in the long term this is going to put more focus on Indianapolis and Indiana,” said Guy Faulkner, assistant professor of motorsports studies and director of Indiana State’s motorsports initiative.

“This merger will create a series that is going to be more attractive to the industry, more attractive to the drivers and more attractive to the fans. All of that leads to more money flowing into Indiana and increased numbers of jobs,” he said.

The marriage of the former rival leagues may even result in increased competition among engine and chassis developers and fuel companies, Faulkner said.

“They like competition. They like to show that their product is the best. Without that competition, it becomes rather stagnant. This merger could drive innovation, which is again something that would be good for Indiana,” he said.

Indiana State’s nearly two-year-old motorsports program involves students and faculty from the colleges of business; nursing, health and human services; and technology. Such a multi-disciplinary approach means the university is well-suited to help the state’s racing industry take full advantage of the opportunities the IRL/Champ Car merger will create.

“We are well-positioned, particularly with our international links, to a series that is going to grow internationally. That’s what we are positioned for - to educate for motorsports management and the work force of the future. We have depth in our educational programs and in our research, to make sure that the industry has the right knowledge, skills and attributes in the right place, at the right time and at the right cost,” Faulkner said.

Currently offering a minor in motorsports management, Indiana State is a member of the Indiana Motorsports Association and the Motorsport Knowledge Exchange, an academic consortium that provides global education and training to the racing industry.

The university has designated motorsports studies as a Program of Promise as part of an initiative funded in part by the Lilly Endowment to recognize ISU's most distinctive programs.

Contact: Guy Faulkner, assistant professor of motorsports studies and director, motorsports initiatives, Indiana State University, 812-237-2026 or gfaulkner1@isugw.indstate.edu

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or dave.taylor@indstate.edu

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Story Highlights

The merger of the Indy Racing League and Champ Car World Series is good for the racing industry in Indiana and may lead to more - rather than less - competition in open wheel racing, according to Guy Faulkner, assistant professor of motorsports studies and director of ISU's motorsports initiative.

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