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Indy Car News
Barnhart relieved of IndyCar race control duties
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - The sanctioning body for the IZOD IndyCar Series revealed on Wednesday that Brian Barnhart will no longer serve as race director.
In restructuring its organization, IndyCar will split the responsibilities of president of operations and race director into separate positions. Barnhart will remain head of operations, overseeing the operational and logistical areas of the series. InyCar is reviewing candidates to fill the race director position.
"As our sport continues to grow and we prepare for our first new car in almost a decade, we feel that splitting these roles will help fully service our teams and venues as we prepare for the demands of the 2012 season," Barnhart said in a statement.
Barnhart has served as IndyCar's president of competition and racing operations since 2007. But Barnhart had been under immense criticism by competitors for some of his officiating calls during the 2011 season.
Several drivers in the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix complained about the start of the race when a safety truck was still on the track.
Barnhart came under fire in August at New Hampshire, where race officials determined after a brief rain shower that the track was dry enough to resume racing, but drivers, particularly Will Power, pleaded with officials not to restart since there was still moisture on the track. Power crashed on the final restart, and shortly after, he made an inappropriate gesture (finger) to the direction of race control. Days later, Power was fined and placed on probation for the remainder of the season for his gesture.
In the October race at Motegi, Japan, Helio Castroneves was furious with Barnhart after he received a penalty for passing under a local yellow during the final lap. Castroneves later posted on his Twitter account, "Brian Barnhart is inconsistent and even changes the rule book when it is convenient for him and his own personal interests...It is sad to see one person being responsible for bringing down an entire series." Castroneves was also fined and put on probation for his comments.
IndyCar also announced another organizational change. Terry Angstadt resigned his position as commercial division president. Angstadt, who had served in the role since 2007, was instrumental in IndyCar's partnership with series title sponsor IZOD, as well as securing races in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Qingdao, China. The series is scheduled to race in China for the first time next year.
Marc Koretzky will replace Angstadt. Koretzky joined IndyCar in May as director of corporate business development. Angstadt will assist with the transition.
"I'm confident that Brian and Marc will lead our company into a bigger and brighter future in these new roles," IndyCar Chief Executive Officer Randy Bernard said.
The 2012 IndyCar season is scheduled to begin on March 25 in St. Petersburg, FL.
11/30 13:55:33 ET
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