American Open-Wheel Racing Is Once Again Unified

The leaders of American open-wheel racing unified the sport today.

Let us now all exhale a collective sigh of relief. Open-wheel fans
across this country can smile now that news spread that there is once
again one open-wheel series. For the first time since late-1994, one
sanctioning body is in charge of open wheel, Indy Car, Champ Car,
whatever moniker you would like to use.

It is being reported that Indy Racing League officials have announced
that a news conference to detail the agreement will come sometime next
week. Consenus is it will be set at the league’s test at
Homestead-Miami Speedway, where testing is set to begin on Wednesday. quoted Indy Racing League founder Tony George, “We want to
have as positive of a press conference as possible when we do have one,
we don’t want to have questions without answers.”

The report continued, “Still to be resolved are issues
regarding Champ Car races that will be on the IRL’s schedule this
season. Three are expected (Long Beach, Calif.; Edmonton, Alberta; and
Surfers Paradise, Australia) to go with the IRL’s 16 previously
announced events. IRL spokesman Fred Nation said George and Champ Car
co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven signed their part of the contract during
Thursday night at the Eagle’s Nest restaurant at the Downtown Hyatt
Regency hotel, but unification wasn’t complete until Gerald Forsythe,
Champ Car’s other majority owner, signed today. After meeting with
George for a couple of hours this morning, Kalkhoven left Indianapolis
for his home in California. George decided to fly to Chicago to meet
personally with Forsythe. George contacted his staff at Indianapolis
Motor Speedway about 3 p.m. to say the deal was completed, ending 12
years of struggle between the two Indianapolis-based series. Forsythe
could not be reached for comment, but Nation said he was pleased that
George, who said he was “anxious” before boarding his company-owned
made the trip. “It had the effect of getting it done,” Nation said of
Forsythe’s signing.”

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