Emerson Fittipaldi is the latest former driver being linked to a possible buy-out of 'Pat' Patrick's eponymous Champ Car team, as the veteran team owner seeks a way out of the series.

Following on from speculation that either Jimmy Vasser or Paul Tracy may become involved with the team, espn.com reports that Fittipaldi - already an owner via the Fittipaldi-Dingman set-up - is interested in doing a deal with Patrick.

"I'm having discussions with Emerson," Patrick, a co-founder of CART, admitted to journalist Robin Miller, ""He wants my equipment and part of the stipulation would be to keep my team together. It's not a done deal yet, but I think we've arrived at a fair price."

Patrick went on to say that the uncertainty over the future of CART - which is being pushed to file for bankruptcy by potential saviour OWRS - and the global economic problem, which is preventing sponsorship from flowing freely, was part of his reasoning for selling up.

"Nobody has offered me any money and sponsorship is a concern," he confirmed, "I've got three people looking for money."

Fittipaldi entered CART as a team owner in 2003, running a single-car effort boosted by handouts from CART along with business partner Jamie Dingman. The team, which fielded Portuguese rookie Tiago Monteiro, operated out of Eric Bachelart's MiJack/Conquest Racing premises, but Fittipaldi is now looking to go it alone.

"Emerson is charged up, and he's been travelling all over the world to put this deal together," said Patrick team manager Jim McGee, "He wants to buy the whole package, and that's good because the biggest thing I'm trying to do is keep this team together. He's got a lot of passion to own a race team, [and] I told him, if he gets the sponsor, we'll run the race team."

 

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