• Mar 20th 2008 at 9:33AM
  • 9
"In anything like this there are winners and losers and all the Champ Car teams were the losers." These are the words of Paul Stoddart, the racing team chief who campaigned his Minardi team last year in Champ Cars and previously in Formula One. Stoddart's words echo those of departed multiple champion Sebastien Bourdais; Minardi is just one of the Champ Car teams that won't be making the switch to IRL next season following the merger between Indy and Champ Cars.

In fact, most of the major teams from the Champ Car World Series won't be making the jump. As we reported earlier, Forsythe can't afford the reinvestment. Neither can Walker Racing. Newman Haas Lanigan Racing will, however, while former Champ Car co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven will give it a shot, but, like Stoddart, is also looking for a way into Formula One. With the former Minardi F1 team, now known as Toro Rosso, up for sale, and Super Aguri looking not long for this world, they may have a chance. Where that leaves Champ Cars, on the other hand, is looking like little more than a footnote in American racing history as this "merger of equals" is shaping up to be about as equal as the one that dissolved between Daimler-Benz and Chrysler.

[Source: GrandPrix.com, Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Actually, while Paul Stoddart isn't going to the IRL, the rest of the team actually is supposed to make the switch. It is being renamed to HVM Racing:


      Although, based on yesterday's test results, they haven't shown up at the Sebring test yet, so who knows?
        • 7 Years Ago
        I can't remember the last time I watched a CART or IRL race for more than 2 minutes and each of those rare glimpses were due to the WWF antics of some of the drivers. There is no technology to excite me. The cars look pretty much the same as they did 10 years ago. The drivers are... who? The racing looks more like destruction derby at times. Condition of the track facilities probably don't help much either. There is no comparison between the tracks on the F1 circuit and those in CART and IRL. It's like comparing NBA courts to middle school gym's in the poorest of inner-city neighborhoods. The "premiere open wheel racing series in America" is long ways away from being the premiere form of motorsports here.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It would be nice to see Minardi back in F1 where they belong. I always liked them.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The performance of thw "woprld's best drivers" in the recent Aussie F1 race showed most can't yet handle non TC cars so maligning the Champcar drivers for occasional offs isn't right IMHO. See how well Bourdais ran against these drivers, in a car which was the "dog" of the backmarkers in 2007 (they don't have a 2008 car in TR yet).

      Overall KK pulled the rug on Champcar and the loyal teams. Meantime over 11 years of the IRL and they have high downforce Ovals which few live fans turn up for and old tech chassis wholly inappropriate for road/street racing and too underpowered. I think I will give AOW a pass for the next 2 years.
      • 7 Years Ago
      IRL in it's current form bores me. I'll miss CART.
      • 7 Years Ago
      To give you an idea how interesting this series is to a lot of people I know; we're going to the Long Beach GP to watch the ALMS race...
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'll miss hearing turbocharged V-8 engines. And I don't see them coming back anytime soon.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Gerry Forsythe could afford to run Indy Car, he just refuses to. Forsythe Racing was sponsored by Indek, a company that Gerry owns! He was effectivly funding his own team! Now comes the jump to IRL, and after sitting complaining about the merger and how bad a man Tony G is, he suddenly can't find funding? It's just Gerrys stubbornness that is stopping him entering Indy Car.

      The only reason Minardi entered the CCWS is because Kevin K was personally funding the running of the Minardi F1 2 Seater car as demonstration runs at events. Moving to Indy Car, there was no way that Tony George was going to bankroll it the same way that Kevin did, and Stoddart was never going to enter. But it wouldn't be like Stoddart to hold teams hostage until he gets his way would it? Oh wait...
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