Craig admits American concerns

CART boss Andrew Craig has admitted that the lack of American drivers in his championship is a 'concern.'

Craig admits American concerns

'There are two factors that concern us,' he said. 'One is the lack of American drivers, and two is the lack of name recognition that some of our foreign drivers bring.

'You don't have to be an American to make a positive contribution to the sport, but you do have to be well known. Nigel Mansell was very well known from the get-go.'

Only two of the twenty rounds in this year's Fedex Championship Series were won by American drivers, and foreign drivers generally made up two-thirds of the field. With the departure of Scott Pruett to NASCAR and Al Unser Jr to the IRL, the number of American drivers is reduced further.

Craig believes that changes to CART feeder formulae Indy Lights and Toyota Atlantic will help bring more young Americans into the championship.

Two of the potential new US-born stars to emerge in recent seasons could be on the sidelines in 2000 however, with both Memo Gidley and Alex Barron unlikely to find drives.

Very few competitive seats remain, and most teams require drivers to bring sponsorship. With well-funded drivers like Indy Lights champion Oriol Servia, Brazil's Felipe Giaffone, Austrian Phillipp Peter and Japanese drivers Naoki Hattori and Takuya Kurosawa looking for teams, Gidley and Barron's chances appear remote.

Ex-Stewart Formula One driver Jan Magnussen is also rumoured to be scouting for another CART drive, despite losing a potential Patrick Racing berth to Roberto Moreno.

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