Champ Car and IRL merger goes ahead

By LJ Hutchins

CalendarWednesday, February 27th, 2008

 
 

The owners of Champ Car and the Indy Racing League (IRL) have announced that they have reached an agreement for the two series to merge.

And it’s IRL that seems have come out on top – the new formula will be named the Indy Racing League and the competition will be known as the IndyCar Series.

The IRL, which includes the iconic Indianapolis 500, broke away from Champ Car in 1996 but has only succeeded in splitting audiences and spreading the available sponsorship cash too thin.

Champ Car teams who join the new series are going to have to put significant work into developing engines and chassis that accord with IndyCar rules.

As a result, IRL boss Tony George is expected to pay them about $1.2m. Approximately six teams are expected to get on board, with the rest shutting down.

It’s not yet clear which races will survive – but top picks from the Champ Car calendar that IRL will not want to lose out on include the Long Beach, California and the Australian events.

British drivers in Champ Car include Justin Wilson, Katherine Legge and Dan Clarke. For an in-depth look at what the future holds for them, watch this space…

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