- Gerald Forsythe
Gerald (Gerry) Forsythe (born in
Marshall, Illinois) is an American businessman and auto racingmagnate, best known for being one of the three men ( Kevin Kalkhovenand Paul Gentilozziare the other two) that owned the Champ Car World Series. Forsythe also owns a racing team, Forsythe Championship Racing, that competed in the Champ Car series.
Forsythe began his career as a car owner in
1983. His team, Forsythe Racing, fielded an entry for Italian rookie Teo Fabiin the IndyCar series. Fabi made an impressive showing, winning four races and six poles (including that for the Indianapolis 500) and finishing second in the series points standings. In 1985, Forsythe sold his team in order to concentrate on the development of his other businesses, which are discussed in the "Outside Racing" section below.
1993, Forsythe returned to auto racing, teaming with Barry Greento form the Forsythe/Green Racing team in the Toyota Atlantic Championship (a developmental series for IndyCar). Backed by Canadiantobacco company Player's, Ltd., the team's two drivers, Canadians Claude Bourbonnaisand future Formula 1World champion Jacques Villeneuve, finished second and third in the points standings, respectively. In 1994, the team graduated to the IndyCar series, with Villeneuve behind the wheel. The French-Canadian had an immensely successful season, winning Rookie of the Year honours.
1995, Forsythe returned to full ownership of a race team and retained Player's as his sponsor. At the end of that season, he opted to join Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) over Tony George's Indy Racing Leaguewhen the IndyCar series split as a result of a bitter dispute between George and CART executives. Since that time, several notable drivers (mostly Canadians) have driven for him, including Greg Moore, Patrick Carpentier, Alex Taglianiand, most recently, Paul Tracy. The team had the most successful season in its history in 2003, with Tracy winning seven races en route to capturing the last-ever CART championship.
2003campaign, Forsythe pooled resources with fellow team owners Kevin Kalkhovenand Paul Gentilozzito purchase CART's liquidated assets and create the Champ Car World Series. His team, now known as Forsythe Championship Racing after losing Player's as a sponsor due to Canadian anti-tobacco legislation, promptly joined the new circuit. Shortly afterwards, he and his partners purchased CART's sole engine supplier, Cosworth, and in 2006Forsythe and Kalkhoven formed the Grand Prix Association of Toronto to purchase control of the Molson Indy Toronto, one of Champ Car's marquee races, from Molson.
1999, Forsythe expanded into track ownership, acquiring facilities in Monterrey and Mexico City, Mexicoin partnership with CIE, as well as purchasing a stake in the Rockingham Motor Speedwayin Corby, England.
During the Champ Car/IRL merger in early 2008, Forysthe elected to fold his team rather than race in the merged series. His reason for not competing was "lack of sponsorship." However, given his financial status his decision seems questionable. Sources point to his long-standing feud with Tony George (Indianapolis Motor Speedway President and founder of the IRL) as the true reason for not competing in the new IndyCar Series. He also may be holding one of his drivers (Paul Tracy) back from competing in the IndyCar series due to a binding contract that prevents Tracy from pursuing a career in the new series. Again, this may be speculation, but sources point to the above statements as true.
Forsythe is the chief shareholder in, and chairman and
CEOof, the Indeck Companies, which include Indeck Power Equipment Company, Indeck Energy Services, Inc., and Indeck Operations. Indeck Power Equipment specializes in the rental, lease, and sale of steam power, while Indeck Energy Services, Inc. develops, owns, and operates cogeneration and independent power projects in North America. Indeck Operations manages the company's plants, as well as those of other firms. The Indeck logo was prominently featured on the sides of the blue Champ Cars that were owned by Forsythe before opting not to run in the unified IndyCar Series in 2008.
Forsythe is also active in cattle ranching and farming, and maintains a farm in his native Marshall, Illinois.
* [http://www.champcarworldseries.com/Teams/Team.asp?ID=1 Forsythe Championship Racing profile]
* [http://www.indeck.com Indeck Power Equipment Company]
* [http://www.indeck-energy.com Indeck Energy Services, Inc.]
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