• Feb 8th 2008 at 1:35PM
  • 20
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. 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.
[Source: AutoWeek]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      It appears that unfortunately they will be using the IRL cars and not the Champ Car vehicles. There is no comparison between the two cars. I was so hoping the Tony George would pull his head out and use the better of the cars and that this would be a true merging of both series and not just him absorbing teams as he finally crushed CART/Champ Car.

      Had he done this the right way, it could have made open wheel racing in the US exciting again, but it will still be more of the same and some of the Champ Car teams will be added to the boring racing of the IRL.

      I long for the days when there where more than 33 teams trying to get into every race and then there were always 33 cars in every race, not this disappointing 22 or less cars on the track.

      Oh well, I guess I will stick to F1 and Nascar.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Here's my plan for reunification:
      Tell Honda to move motegi
      Use Dallaras for this season. I know they're hideous and dangerous but tough times call for drastic action.
      Have Panoz spend the year building DP01's for use as the spec Road Race car in 2009 (this may include modifying to accept the Honda engine or working a deal with Cosworth and Honda to badge the Cossies as Hondas).
      The Dallaras can be used as the spec oval car in 2009.

      2008 may be unbalanced as CCWS teams aren't used to Dallaras but 2009 should be fair as CCWS teams have the upper hand on road courses and IRL teams have oval experience.

      I never thought I'd say this but I'd actually suffer through a year of watching those bubble headed retard mobiles if the DP01 came back in 2009 .

      Let's reunify before bankruptcy.

      Aside: Tony George deserves to be drawn and quartered. Preferably by non-American drivers.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I would love to see them get back together, as long as Tony George isn't running the show. He has ruined open wheel racing in the states.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Press Release from champ car PR office

      February 8, 2008

      Statement from Kevin Kalkhoven & Jerry Forsythe, Champ Car co-owners:

      Unfortunately, leaks and media reports about a possible unification of
      Champ Car and the Indy Racing League (IRL) have significantly hampered
      discussions. Over the past three years, we have fielded and offered
      several proposals regarding unification of the two premier U.S.-based
      open-wheel racing series, but we have been unable to reach an acceptable
      solution. Discussions currently are at a standstill, and we therefore
      are proceeding with plans to continue as Champ Car.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I remember a time when I actually knew the names of more drivers in CART than I did in F1... names like Andretti, Unser Jr, Rahal, Sullivan, Fittipaldi, etc. Wow, those were great times... but alas, greed(george) set in. Now that the money is gone, TGeorge is trying to reunite the series (he's not doing it for altruistic purposes). I'm afraid it's too late.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Finally!!!!!!!!! Open wheel road racing is just about Code Blue here in the States. Of course we could watch the Euro NASCAR series......
      • 7 Years Ago
      I wish them the best, cause open wheel racing in America dying a slow and painful death.....in part due to Nascar's growing popularity. I hope it works out for them, but if it just means there's going to me almost 100% oval races then I wont be taking in any of their races.
      • 7 Years Ago
      How things should be done??? Are you for real? F1's worldwide popularity continues to grow at an exponential rate where as both Champ Car and Indy's popularity rate in the US continues to shrink and they were never able to achieve anything worldwide.

      Your logic is baffling.....
        • 7 Years Ago
        I was not referring to the popularity of the sport but rather how most of f1 'racing' seems to be during qualifying instead of the actual race.
      • 7 Years Ago
      These reports seem to circulate ever couple of years so I won't get too excited about it just yet. If it does happen though, I hope they stick with the Panoz chassis. With the street courses IRL has added recently I think we can rule out the oval-only scenario.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The best way to put people back in the stands is figure out a way to put some of the Nascar stars in the races. If 3 or 4 top Nascar drivers were in the races, people would start watching and going to these races. I am not saying the Nascar drivers are great, but they are popular.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I hope this is true. Get them back together, get them out of spec cars, get them off of ovals, get them back to competitiveness, entertainment, and legitimacy as a series. It would be nothing short of awesome to make it open like it used to be, so we could see the likes of Kimi, Lewis, Eyebrows, etc. make the trip over in the F1 offseason.

      Please just do something to save it from the terrible malaise that's overtaken American open wheel since the split.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's still a shame to me that F1 is no longer in Indy. That being said, leave the oval racing to NASCAR. Keep all others in CART and maybe you'll bring some fans back that were turned off by all the bickering of years past. As a unit, CHAMP/IRL were pretty decent. Separately, not so much...
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