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HomeRacingBarnhart demoted as IndyCar Race Director, search for replacement begins

Barnhart demoted as IndyCar Race Director, search for replacement begins

As INDYCAR continues its search for a new Race Director, two of the possible candidates have confirmed to SPEED.com that they will not fill the vacancy created by the series when it officially moved Brian Barnhart out of the role on Wednesday.

“I’m definitely not in line for the Race Director [role],” said INDYCAR’s Tony Cotman. Time constraints, specifically related to the growth of his NZR Consulting company, will prevent the 2012car program manager from adding more responsibilities to his plate.

“I’m too busy as it is and need to focus more on my track design business,” he continued. “The full-time responsibility that comes with that position demands all of your time and attention, and that’s what the position needs.”

In addition to serving as a steward on Barnhart’s IndyCar Race Control staff, Cotman has been the man in charge of Indy Lights races, holding the role of Race Director through the 2011 season. Continuing in both roles–if INDYCAR and Barnhart’s eventual replacement are interested–could be the best fit for the Kiwi.

“Now, if they want to lean on me; if whomever is put in charge of [INDYCAR] Race Control wants to continue to utilize me in some capacity on the race weekends, and it works with my schedule, that would be great,” he explained. “I’d like to continue my position in Indy Lights as the time constraints involved with that series is significantly different.”

Chip Ganassi Racing driver Scott Pruett, who had been under consideration for the Race Director position after Ganassi made the suggestion to INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard, has also confirmed that he’s no longer in the running for the position.

“While it’s extremely flattering to have your name mentioned in consideration for such a key position in racing, I still have a lot of driving left to do.,” said the 51-year-old three-time GRAND-AM champion.

“As a former Indy car driver and as a current open wheel racing fan, I continue to pay very close attention to Indy cars as the series continues to grow. I’ve spent a lot of my racing career in Indy cars and still have a lot of great friends in the series. My focus for the foreseeable future remains with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and our GRAND-AM program. We have a great thing going with TELMEX, BMW and Dinan in the Daytona Prototype class and I still have the passion, drive and motivation to continue winning races and championships behind the wheel.”

With a dwindling list of viable candidates to consider, the Race Director selection process should become more streamlined for Bernard.

ALMS Race director Beaux Barfield is considered the only qualified, turnkey option left on the table, while the other players—from Steve Horne, who isn’t interested in a full-time position, to more ex-drivers with no Race Control experience—would seem to be a bad fit for the series while it sits at such a critical juncture.

News Source:  Speed TV

Image Source:  USA Today

 

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