Q. Eddie, as a promoter, the engine package, if there are two other manufacturers that come in and the new chassis, should they decide to allow more than one chassis, is that something as a promoter you can harp on, We have competition between whoever the manufacturers are? Is that good for what you do?
EDDIE GOSSAGE: What we're hearing from the fans is they like the engine package that opens the door for others to participate. At the same time, you know, they're very cognizant that Honda has made a commitment to the Indy Racing League and that they appreciate that and they're going to continue to support Honda for supporting their favorite sport.
But what we know is that if there are more manufacturers, there are more people marketing, advertising their involvement in the sport, that kind of thing. That just pays off dividends across the board.
I'm sure the Honda guys, they love winning the races, but they want to beat other people and stand on top of the hill and say, "We're king of the hill." That gives them something to even do a better job with their marketing support. That, of course, brings more people to television sets, more people through the ticket gates, and makes IndyCar racing all the more stronger.
Q. Brian, if there isn't another competitor ready for 2012, how will you make it open so somebody can come in for 2013?
BRIAN BARNHART: It's open for the duration of these rules. The rules are set out. We're applying these rules from 2012 to 2015. There will be notification dates, which are basically the last race of two preceding off-seasons before that for the year of competition. So up until Homestead of this year, any manufacturer would have the ability to notify to participate in 2012, up and through the last race of next year would be their deadline for participation in 2013. It carries on that way throughout the duration of the term.
The clear idea is to attract additional manufacturers to what we're doing. The openness, all inclusiveness of what we're doing here, hopefully will lead us down that path.
Q. Eddie, this past year there seems to be a lot of change in the IndyCar Series, kind of stepping it up with the advisory committee. Talk a little bit about how you feel -- the sense of direction the series is going in now.
EDDIE GOSSAGE: I think Gil was talking about this a little earlier. The word I would use is "inclusiveness," to have a voice. At the end of the day, the Indy Racing League can choose to listen or not listen to this committee's recommendation. That's certainly their role and function, is to administer this sport fairly and evenly for everybody. But it's great as a stakeholder to have an opportunity to be able to say your piece and be heard.
I appreciate that, you know. I can tell you, I mean, to cut through what you said, Randy is the new guy here. I'm looking forward to more and more things that Randy is going to bring to IndyCar racing because, you know, he's slowly -- I don't mean that in a bad way, Randy -- he's slowly getting his feet wetter every day and able to bring more to the table. I like what I've seen from Randy so far. I look forward to working with him for a long time.
Q. Brian, if other engine manufacturers come in, I know I've talked to a couple of the guys that are proposing [chassis], they say, "If we supply all the cars, the cost is one price. If there's more than one, it's going to cost a little more for each car." How will that work if you get two or three other engine manufacturers in instead of Honda supplying everybody? Will that raise the cost?
BRIAN BARNHART: The price structure is yet to be determined on it. With or without competition, our goal is to significantly reduce the cost of participation to our owners right now. I think we'll be able to achieve that whether it's a sole supplier or competitive environment. There will be a significant reduction.
Q. Brian, you've got basically a bulletproof package right now with Honda. Have they committed to this new formula or is this just a clean sheet right down the way?
BRIAN BARNHART: We've certainly had ongoing dialogue with Honda. They've been an absolutely tremendous partner for us. We just concluded the fifth consecutive Indianapolis 500 without an engine failure. That's unprecedented in any form of motorsports at any level.
There's a lot to be said for what they bring to the table in terms of performance, durability, reliability, what they bring right now in the support of the series, marketing and activation. They've made it clear to us over the years they welcome and encourage manufacturer participation and we're going to try and provide that for them.
This has had a lot of conversation with them, leaning in this direction. I think they're onboard with the general principles and strategy, that this is an open and inclusive environment that will hopefully attract the manufacturer as the stated goal.
Q. Brian and Gil, after you hear these presentations this week, what is your time frame? Don't these chassis all have to be tested on the track by somebody? Gil, are you going to get in one of these and drive one yourself? Isn't there a lot of actual physical testing that will have to be done no matter what you choose? How long is this process?
BRIAN BARNHART: Well, maybe some testing more than others depending on which direction you go, which chassis are chosen. That's why I think Randy from day one has stated we'll have a decision by June 30th on the chassis, and for a 2012 implementation that gives him 18 months.
Q. When and if new manufacturers come into the league, is there a concern maybe the discrepancy between the haves and have-not's, the more established teams, maybe are greater? If so, how does that get mitigated to promote competition?
GIL de FERRAN: Well, I think the league, the IndyCar Series, has done a great job over the years of providing a level playing field for all the competitors. I certainly don't feel disadvantaged, even though we [de Ferran Dragon are a very young team relative to all the other teams that have been more dominant during the past several years.
Personally, I feel right now my job is to do a better job as a team and to try to get my team up front. But I know that the equipment that is available to me is the same as everyone else's equipment. I'm OK with that scenario.
I think the vision that we have discussed is to continue with this scenario where any team has the availability to the have the good equipment, but obviously for you to become successful you still have to do a good job as a team, and you have to have a driver that does a good job as well.
Q. Randy, what impact, if any, did bringing in a title sponsor for the series impact this whole committee process? Having the title sponsor, does that make you want to do something to increase viewership, attendance, et cetera? Does that make that a greater need than before?
RANDY BERNARD: I think first and foremost, when IZOD became involved in the sport, it was prior to me. One of my first meetings was with IZOD. I was blown away with their passion and drive, which I've said many times, to see where they want to take the sport.
I think that momentum we've been able to create. I think every one of these people up here have a huge weight on their back because they have a huge responsibility. They have to determine what the next car is going to be, if it's going to be a success or a failure, bottom line. That's a huge, huge task that these folks are working with right now.
I'm very proud to have picked these guys because it's been an unbelievable process. I know we're a better IndyCar property today with this team than we were four months ago, still just trying to figure out what our plans were. Three months ago, sorry.
Q. I have a couple technical questions I assume that might be for Brian. Do you expect this would be a stressed or non-stressed member?
BRIAN BARNHART: At this point it hasn't been determined.
Q. From a regulating standpoint, do you think it would be a sonic orifice fuel or boost related?
BRIAN BARNHART: Again, it could be any combination of them. I think we're looking seriously at monitoring the fuel flow rate in the total fuel allocation as our priorities to start with along perhaps with a maximum boost level as well.
Q. Does the stress/non-stress member, the reason I ask is that when you talk to other manufacturers, those details for them, if they wanted to make a decision, they have to have those details, is that wrapped into the chassis discussion?
BRIAN BARNHART: Absolutely. That's something that's yet to be determined with the meetings that are ongoing in the coming week.
Q. Brian, you're headed towards multiple engines. Do I understand there will be only one chassis? Why not open it up to several manufacturers when you're opening up the whole program?
BRIAN BARNHART: I think we're in a position we can't talk about the chassis at this point with the ongoing process with the ICONIC committee coming in the next week.
Q. General, coming into leading this group or keeping it organized, how different is what the discussions are in and the variations they're trying to put together from what you were involved with in the Air Force? Is this a similar situation? In the Air Force, when anybody said something you didn't like, you could tell them you had four stars, whereas here you might need boxing gloves here.
GENERAL LOONEY: To tell you the truth, in the Air Force, you'd be surprised how well four stars don't work sometimes. Quite candidly, I was more of a facilitator than leading this group. This group is well-versed in all the things they needed to consider and discussed.
There were a lot of similarities. When you do acquisitions for a sophisticated fighters, airlift aircraft, you're looking at speed, durability, reliability, safety aspects, cost-effectiveness. So all of that played into it. Instead of being at 30,000 feet and determining how we were going to operate this machine, I was down here at ground level. Instead of going Mach II, I'm going about 220 miles an hour.
But I understand that's a helluva lot scarier than being up at Mach II at 30,000 feet, isn't that right, Randy?