Press releases - and the truth

Events in the Indycar world in 2012

Press releases - and the truth

Postby meteorite » Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:25 pm

Corporations of course always want to put the best possible spin on things - thus this press release from Indycar:

RANDY BERNARD STEPS DOWN AS CEO OF INDYCAR
Remains an advisor to INDYCAR; Belskus appointed interim CEO

INDIANAPOLIS, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012 - The board of directors of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation convened a special meeting Sunday, Oct. 28 and has announced that Randy Bernard will relinquish his position as CEO of INDYCAR effective immediately. Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation President and CEO Jeff Belskus was appointed as interim CEO of INDYCAR.

"We are very grateful for the tireless effort that Randy has invested into learning, understanding and working to grow the IndyCar Series over the last three racing seasons," Belskus said. "As both Randy and our organization have reflected on the past season and as we look toward the opportunities ahead and how to best take advantage of them, we agreed that the timing was right to pursue separate paths."

Bernard, who joined INDYCAR in March 2010, said he believed he is leaving INDYCAR in a better position than when he arrived.

"I have enjoyed the opportunity to work with the entire INDYCAR community, its teams, drivers, loyal partners and fans," Bernard said. "The last three years have produced some exciting, and some difficult, times. But we have created a foundation for INDYCAR that positions it to grow over the next several years, and I am proud of what everyone at INDYCAR has been able to accomplish since I came on board."

Bernard was also grateful for the support of the Hulman-George family during his tenure.

"I want to thank the Hulman-George family, especially Josie (George), for giving me the opportunity and privilege to work with the organization and to help set a course and direction for INDYCAR," Bernard said. "With the family's firm commitment to the betterment of the sport and the dedication of our teams, drivers, partners and fans, INDYCAR is better poised for success than it has been in many years."

Belskus credited Bernard with successfully navigating INDYCAR through a challenging and important time period that included the development and rollout of the first new chassis rules in nine years and the introduction of a new engine platform and multiple engine manufactures after six years of a single-supplier format.

Belskus added that Bernard would still provide input into the overall operation of INDYCAR through an ongoing advisory capacity with INDYCAR. Bernard said he was looking forward to staying involved.

"I have developed a passion for the sport of INDYCAR, and I look forward to being involved at a strategic level as an advisor to the INDYCAR leadership," Bernard said. "As INDYCAR fans, we need to unify behind the sport in order to move it to the next level, and I look forward to providing input and being part of that unified voice along the way."

Belskus, who served as CEO of INDYCAR from July 2009 through February 2010, will continue in his current roles in addition to being named interim CEO of INDYCAR. Belskus said a specific timeline had not been established for announcing a permanent replacement, but added that future INDYCAR leadership structure will be addressed as part of a current strategic planning process that includes assistance from global business management firm The Boston Consulting Group and would incorporate consultation with INDYCAR stakeholders.

"The organization is full of talented professionals, and we will continue to prepare for what will be a very exciting 2013 racing season," Belskus said. "Once again, INDYCAR is not for sale, and the organization remains completely committed to owning and operating INDYCAR."

>>>>> And another cow flew by.

According to Autoweek's beat reporter for Indycar, Bernard was flat-out fired. Anything else is window dressing. The report of the event from Associated Press (AP) agrees, and adds a great deal of scathing content.

No one is quite sure what's going on. One may suspect the bit about mutual agreement means that, since there were no grounds on which to fire Bernard for cause, he is drifting down in a truly humongous golden parachute - perhaps installments that will go on the books as "consulting fees?". Those fans who have been heard from, in comments on the Autoweek and AP stories, have been as scathing as the writers themselves, if not more so. Roger Penske says it reflects "poor judgment".

Generally speaking, Bernard has been credited by the organization and the fans alike with doing a good job. An announcement from Tony George that he had no intention of seeking any management role in the Indianapolis 500 or Indycar, and was not seeking to buy any part, adds to the mystery. There is no heir apparent in sight, and given the combination of a capricious Board, fractious owners, and a sport in trouble it is not at all clear who might want it or on what terms.

To all appearances, the Indycar board has blown it thoroughly, once again. Tony Hulman must be spinning in his grave.
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Re: Press releases - and the truth

Postby meteorite » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:34 pm

The following has been posted on the official Indycar website, Indycar.com:

An Open Letter from Jeff Belskus

By Jeff Belskus
Published: Nov 1, 2012

Open Letter to INDYCAR Fans:

Without a doubt, the last few days have been challenging for the INDYCAR community. We have received and heard many passionate opinions from caring fans of this sport, and we appreciate the communication.

While much of the conversation has been difficult, we must take this opportunity to harness the energy and emotion of this time for the good of the sport we all love. Before I discuss our commitment to you, the fan, for a strong INDYCAR in the future, I want to step back.

Today, I am in the same position as I was three years ago at this time, as the CEO of INDYCAR. I was previously in the position of CEO of INDYCAR in July 2009. In addition to leading INDYCAR through the remainder of the 2009 season, my focus was preparing INDYCAR for the 2010 season and searching for a permanent leader for the series. We considered and spoke with many potential leaders and ultimately hired Randy Bernard to lead INDYCAR in March 2010.

There has been, and continues to be, speculation and rumors that Randy was fired. That is just not true. A mutual separation and an advisory role for Randy was accepted last Sunday evening in a special board meeting.

Randy brought us fresh ideas and energizing leadership at a time when it was truly needed, and he helped us overcome the challenge of getting new cars created and competing.We thank him for his contributions. Today, we still face challenges and are moving to address them immediately, but we also have a great opportunity and reason for hope from which we can build.

We are actively executing our 2013 plan that includes new events, an experiment with double-header weekends, the return of the Triple Crown, the introduction of the movie ‘Turbo’ that features INDYCAR and the Indianapolis 500, and the Texas race being broadcast in prime time on ABC. We are also reviewing our long-term plan, and we are focused on adding value to our stakeholders, creating more excitement and engagement with our current fans, and increasing our fan base.

So, where does all of this put, you, the fan? Quite frankly, in the most important spot of all.

Without you – your eyes watching our races, your social media reminders to your friends as to why you are passionate about our drivers and events, your financial sacrifice to travel to and purchase tickets to our races, and your passion to stand up, be counted and tell us your likes and concerns – we will not succeed.

The INDYCAR racing journey began more than 100 years ago, and we plan on being here for another 100 years.

We watch the racing for the racing. We do not want it to be about off-track politics. It is my job and the job of teams, drivers, owners and others in the INDYCAR community to use our energies to get the focus on our racing.

We watch racing because of our drivers and the on-track action, and this year the action and excitement were plentiful. Consider some of these 2012 moments that are great examples of why we watch racing:

--Rubens Barrichello, the most prolific starter in F1 history, tested an Indy car and liked it so much he chose to spend a season racing here

--The 2012 Indianapolis 500 had the most lead changes in the event’s history

--Takuma Sato risked everything in Turn 1 at Indy to make a pass that would have delivered him the most coveted victory in worldwide motorsports

--Ed Carpenter did the improbable and beat the giants of the sport for the second year in a row at the end of the season

--The 2012 championship went down to the last laps of the last race

--Ryan Hunter-Reay became just the second American series champion in 10 years

No question these last 96 hours have been tough on us all, and especially on you. The INDYCAR community must remain together as one unit. And despite our differences, owners, promoters, drivers and the series must communicate as one.

Together, we will power through this. And with your continued support, we will grow our sport and make INDYCAR as exciting as ever.

I commit to you that I, along with the staff at INDYCAR, have heard you, and we are going to make you proud that you are a fan of INDYCAR.

Sincerely,

Jeff Belskus

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

What to make of this? Damage control in the face of massive backlash? Nobody is quite sure, but the most reliable sampling of enthusiast reaction is likely in Autoweek.com, where the comments on the story are pretty highly negative. We would suggest you look there and form your own opinion - but remember they are anonymous comments so add salt to taste.
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