CART team owner Gerry Forsythe is determined that his Championship Racing outfit will be back on track by next season.

The team was due to have run a Swift chassis for Bryan Herta this year, but wrangles with the CART franchise board saw Forsythe withdraw from the series just days before the opening race. It has since also split with Swift, which believed that the questions raised by the team regarding its chassis' competitiveness were wrong, and has now set out to prove a point on its own.

Forsythe remains unbowed, however, and has repeated his intention to take Championship Racing back into the CART series by 2001.

''There have been a lot of rumors circulating about our status,'' he said, ''but my position hasn't changed. I am still working to secure a franchise for this team. In the interim, we are putting the infrastructure in place for a solid program in 2001.

''Everyone on this team has been assured that their positions are secure. We are laying the groundwork now in terms of equipment for next year. We are even looking at the possibility of building a new race shop in Hilliard. We are concentrating on some innovative programs in the marketing and public relations areas. Over the course of the next few months, there is a lot of work to be done to come out of the box with the strongest program possible next season.''

The successful businessman, and owner of the Player's/Forsythe team, put a lot of his determination down to watching Herta perform well at Long Beach while acting as a stand-in for the injured Shinji Nakano at Walker Racing. The American finished fifth in his first event since the end of the 1999 campaign, and admitted that he was looking forward to rejoining a rejuvenated Forsythe operation.

''I had an opportunity to sit down with Gerry over the Long Beach weekend, and we talked about our future together and the future of the team,'' Herta said, ''While I don't want to discuss the particulars, I feel very confident the team will remain intact, and we look forward to a strong future together.''



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