INDIANAPOLIS — Joe Heitzler, a one-time president and CEO of the now-defunct Championship Auto Racing Teams Indy car series, has died at the age of 75.
Born in England, Heitzler took over as president of CART ahead of the 2001 season, replacing former driver Bobby Rahal, who left the sanctioning body to take a post with the Jaguar Formula One team.
Despite having signed a multi-car contract with CART after being a unanimous choice of CART’s nine-man board of directors, Heitzler was fired after one year and one day at the helm and was replaced by Chris Pook.
Heitzler, however, remained involved with CART for a period of time as chairman of the board. He was the 10th CEO for the organization, which was created in 1978.
Prior to taking the job with CART, Heitzler served as president and chief operating officer for National Mobile Television Productions, which provided mobile broadcasting facilities for sporting events including the NFL, NBA, NHL and major league baseball.
Early in his career, Heitzler worked for CBS Sports and was instrumental in helping Pook’s Grand Prix of Long Beach get a television contract with the network.