This past week has been a mounting crescendo of articles coming out from increasingly reliable sources making the claim that GM would be back in IndyCar for 2012. Autoextremist, Autoblog, Speed, Autosport and now Curt Cavin at the venerable Indianapolis Star have all weighed in. The rumor can be put to bed. There will be an announcement made at the IMS Hall of Fame Museum on Friday at 10am EST welcoming Chevy back into the fold for 2012.
Other parts of this rumor have indicated that Chip Ganassi will be the flagship GM effort, but Chip has outright denied this to multiple news outlets. Though, Chip has been known to be a bit cagey in the past.
Momentum seems to be growing as IndyCar has picked up several new sponsors, increased sanctioning fees, gathered at least three aero kit manufacturers and two engine manufacturers, laid a firm foundation for the technical package from 2012 onward, is making huge gains in the marketing arena and generally has shaken off much of the funk that surrounded the series during the split. Randy Bernard has definitely been the frontman this year on these changes and has proven himself an effective marketer, communicator and vision caster, all areas where the previous CEO of all things Hulman never established himself in.
Bernard has hinted that there will be several major announcements this offseason, and that those announcements will be staggered so as to keep IndyCar in the limelight. Future announcements will probably entail the 2011 season ending race, the groundbreaking for the Dallara factory in Speedway Indiana, Terry Angstadt’s “sponsor whose activation will rival IZOD’s”, maybe a few new teams, aero kit manufacturers and maybe another engine manufacturer. All this amidst the hoopla surrounding the Centennial Era at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
It’s looking to be an interesting offseason.