Eddie Cheever

RJ: Concentrating on your team management role, firstly, did you ever think about becoming a team boss whilst you were racing?

EC: No, no. Not at all. It was an opportunity to take over a company that had a good foothold in the IRL championship – it was just a business decision and it then it evolved into more of a management role as time went on. It was the same as motor racing, really, but just adapting.

RJ: You’ve continued to race, not just in the GPM, but the Indy 500 this year, are you looking to do perhaps more driving for the moment?

EC: Again, I really hope that the GP Masters gets a solid footing, and the events are like this one at Silverstone, because I probably will do more of this, definitely. I might just do a bit more Indy 500 – I like that event and I’ll definitely take part in the Daytona 24 Hours, but I don’t see myself having a full schedule of racing, not now I’m so much older, I’m tired of the hassle, the arguments, you know?…

RJ: Are you generally quite happy with how the team management role went, especially considering the financial struggle you’ve had recently?

EC: I really enjoyed the last 12-13 years, most of it in the Indy Racing League. Unfortunately, in those years there was a big divorce (CART and IRL), so it’s been a.. been a difficult business environment, but you know, its what you make of it. We’re now doing Grand Am, and other things, but the IRL.. no, not any more, I don’t think. I mean the IRL has had difficulties, and so have we, but we need the time now, to analyse why we doing it.

RJ: Focusing now on the Cheever Group that you run. It’s obviously a key organisation in American motorsport – did that come about because of issues you had as a team boss, and thus you saw a gap in the market?

EC: One of the companies, a marketing company had been responsible for a lot of the business issues that a racing team would have, other issues than just the running and racing, and really, again was the normal evolution for our company to go into and work on. The IT company really came out of something we did with Cisco Systems where we developed IT solutions, because as a team manager, there were some technical aspects that we needed work on.

RJ: Finally, your brother, Ross – is he still in motor racing?

EC: No, he’s .. he lives in California and I think it’s.. he’s involved in real estate now. He’s gone native – got a proper job!!

Interview conducted by Richard Jenkins on 12 August 2006 at the GPM event at Silverstone. Thanks to Eddie and his son for their time.