Tony George was not trying to regain control of IndyCar for himself in his recent attempt to purchase the series, but rather bring in a new management team to replace the current board of directors, according to a copy of his proposal obtained Monday by The Associated Press.
George’s five-page proposal was made Oct. 5 to the Hulman & Co. board of directors. In it, the group ICS Acquisition called for a management team to take over IndyCar’s operations and separate the series from Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A sanctioning agreement would be created with IMS to run the Indianapolis 500, the series’ signature event.
George would only have been a board member in the proposal that expired Oct. 15, and offered $5 million cash and proof of $25 million in reserves for stabilization of the series, according to the document, which was obtained from a person familiar with the situation on condition of anonymity because the details have not been publicly disclosed.
The offer was not considered and George resigned from the board on Oct. 19 citing a conflict of interest in holding a seat while trying to reacquire the series he founded in 1996.
IndyCar is owned by the Hulman-George family, and its portfolio is managed by the Hulman & Co. board of directors. That board has repeated several times in the last month that the series is not for sale.
IndyCar itself is managed by the 11-member Indianapolis Motor Speedway board of directors, which voted in an emergency session Sunday night to have CEO Randy Bernard step down. Owner Roger Penske said the move showed the board “continues to show poor judgment,” and fans have been outspoken through social media in their outrage of the firing.
Fans were just as opposed to George regaining control of the series, which was apparently never his intent.
It was believed he had rallied other team owners to pool their resources in a bid to buy the series and oust Bernard so that George could get his old job back. He was stripped of his power in 2009 by his mother and three sisters for spending millions of dollars of family money on the series and never turning a profit.
But no other IndyCar team owners were part of the proposal.
ICS Acquisition listed a management team of Zak Brown, founder and CEO motorsports marketing agency Just Marketing; Mike O’Driscoll, chairman of Jaguar Heritage and a non-executive director of the Williams F1 team; Terry Angstadt, former president of IndyCar’s commercial division; and Claire Roberts, the CEO of ArbiterSports, an NCAA-owned sports technology company.
George’s plan called for Brown to be the CEO and commissioner of IndyCar and O’Driscoll to be the president and chief operating officer. O’Driscoll would have also run the day-to-day operations of the series.
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