Former Champ Car fan favourite Paul Tracy may yet make a belated full-time appearance in the amalgamated IndyCar Series, if rumours of a possible deal with KV Racing Technology prove to be true.
Having been left out in the cold when erstwhile employer Gerry Forsythe backed the merger between the CCWS and IRL but then opted not to run a team in the 'new' series, Tracy managed one outing in a joint Vision/Walker Racing effort at the inaugural Edmonton IRL round, but looked almost certain to have to turn his attention elsewhere after the backing could be found for him to continue.
Now, however, the rumour mill suggests that former on-track rival Jimmy Vasser may be trying to sort a package to get Tracy on board at KVRT for 2009.
Vasser is co-owner of the KVRT operation which this week hired second year driver Mario Moraes in place of Will Power, whose seat was in jeopardy following Craig Gore's decision not to renew the Team Australia programme. While Power has subsequently been snapped up by Penske as stand-in for Helio Castroneves, KVRT's second seat had been believed to be going to US open-wheel veteran Oriol Servia, who proved to be the leading 'convert' from the CCWS in 2008.
Vasser, however, has revealed that Tracy approached him about the coming season and the pair are now working towards the joint goal of getting the 'Thrill from West Hill' back on track.
"Obviously we live in the same city and we were kicking around some ideas the other day and PT wondered if KV Racing would work with him on a deal - and I said absolutely," Vasser told speedtv.com
, "We're trying to run down some stuff up in Canada and I think Paul has a couple of possibilities in the States, but he needed a team to work with him so that's what I'm doing."
According to Vasser, the pair need to come up with at least $4m to make the programme happen - even though he admits that the figure would hardly cover the engine lease and operating costs for the Canadian's season.
"What I love about PT is that he's still got the fire to go for it, and I think we all saw last year at Edmonton that he's still got a few good years left in him," he said of his 40-year old friend and rival, "Let's face it. PT is exciting - he sells tickets, gets a lot of press and the League needs him, especially with two races in Canada."
Like his expected rival for the second KVRT seat, Tracy admits that he has little in the way of financial support at present, making both he and Servia sitting targets should a better-backed driver go to Vasser or Kalkhoven with a proposal.