Patrick Carpentier’s 2002 Mid-Ohio CART win has gone down in
track lore. A promise he’d made after taking the pole came back
to haunt him – if he won, he promised to streak. He did...so he did.
But Mid-Ohio was always a track where
the sum was even greater than the parts
and it was the flow of the layout, it’s
tough, unrelenting nature and the lack of
respite it gave a driver in the hot and
humid Ohio summers that made a victory
there a highlight on any résumé.
By the mid ’70s, Trans-Am’s heyday was
long gone and Can-Am was in decline.
Formula 5000 was touted as America’s
marquee road racing series, but failed to
excite fans in the way its predecessors had,
despite the e;orts of three-time Mid-Ohio
winner Brian Redman (1974, ’ 75 and ’ 76),
Mario Andretti and Al Unser.
As the ’70s drew to a close, IMSA sports
cars and a revived Can-Am (now little more
than a closed-wheel take on F5000) kept
U.S. road racing ticking over. But a
renaissance came at the start of the ’8os,
thanks to the formation of CART
by a group of open-wheel team owners
frustrated by what they saw as USAC’s
ineptness at running Indy car racing, plus
the rise of a spectacular new generation
of IMSA GTP prototype sports cars.
Not only were classic road courses like
Mid-Ohio fundamental to the plans for each
championship, but a new owner for the
track labeled “The Most Competitive in the
U.S.” also brought significant investment in
its facilities and ensured it a long-term future
as a host of America’s top racing series.
BEGINNING OF A NEW CHAPTER
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
But do feel free to tweak
it to make it even better...
That could be the mantra
of Kim Green and Kevin
Savoree, who bought the
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
from TrueSports Inc. last
March. Both have lengthy
backgrounds in racing, and
both appreciate the history
and tradition they’ve
inherited at Mid-Ohio.
Experience has taught them
that knowing what to leave
alone is every bit as
important as knowing what
to change and enhance.
“I’ve been racing at
Mid-Ohio since 1981 and
have seen the pride
Michelle [Trueman Gajoch]
and her team have put
into the facility,” says
Green. “It’s a legacy we’ll
carry on with pride.”
“We’re eager to
write the next chapter in
the 50-year history of
North America’s largest
privately held road
course,” adds Savoree.