AutoWeek is reporting that Tony George, owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and league chairman of the IRL, along with two of his associates, flew to Motegi, Japan recently to meet with track officials about changing the date of the Motegi race on April 19th. The reason is because the IRL race conflicts with the Long Beach Grand Prix, a mainstay on the Champ Car schedule. In order to consolidate the season schedules of both series, officials from both sides are apparently working hard to resolve conflicts like this. The fact that Tony George himself would fly to Japan indicates to AutoWeek that the man responsible for the split in the first place is serious about mending what he helped rend apart. And date conflicts between races are but one obstacle among many in bringing the two series back together, though they appear to be the biggest thing in the way of a resolution that could see a unified open-wheel racing series back on track in 2008.
Champ Car and the Indy Racing League, the two de facto open wheel racing series in North America since CART split after the 1995 season, are reportedly close to a truce that could reunite the two series as soon as the 2008 season.