Both the IndyCar and Firestone Indy Lights series can expect to see an expansion in numbers next season, following the announcement of two new programmes at the season-ending Chicagoland event

Occasional IRL entrant Greg Beck has revealed a new partnership with sports marketing expert Steve Sudler that will bring the new Team 3G LLC into both the IndyCar Series and Indy Lights competitions in 2009, while Team HVM boss Keith Wiggins unveiled plans to run a two-car development team in the Lights series.

"The IndyCar Series is growing in popularity, yet remains a great value for corporate marketers," Beck said, "Now is the time to build an organisation that places emphasis on bringing new drivers and sponsors into the sport. With a unified IndyCar Series, there has been greater interest from drivers around the world wishing to compete in the championship. I have had a long association with Mike Curb and Cary Agajanian, which we will continue and build upon, including a Curb/Agajanian entry in the Indy 500."

Wiggins, meanwhile, recently acquired the assets of Indy Lights team Michael Crawford Motorsports, while keeping the eponymous team owner on general manager. Crawford has been a major player in the Indy Pro Series and Indy Lights since the feeder series' inception in 2002, and served as general manager for Sam Schmidt Motorsports before taking ownership of his own team in 2006.

"This has been the plan since we committed to the Indy Racing League," former F1 and Champ Car team owner Wiggins, who runs EJ Viso in the IRL, revealed, "We didn't want to come into this league and just be another team. We want to be a premier team, but also understand it takes the necessary steps.

"The move into the Firestone Indy Lights is very important to us. This will allow us to immediately become a stronger team in 2009. We are going to add additional engineers, mechanics, and obviously we have begun the process of searching for drivers that are the right fit for the HVM Racing brand now and in the future."