Veteran team owner UE 'Pat' Patrick, has confirmed rumours that he is set to quit the series he helped found in the 1970s in order to set up shop with its bitterest rival.

Even though the assets of CART were handed to Open Wheel Racing Series in an attempt to keep the Champ Car World Series in business in 2004, Patrick - who co-founded the championship in the late 1970s - has claimed that the deal was 'completely mishandled' and says he will take his eponymous Patrick Racing team and enter the Indy Racing League - which only last week attempted to buy the assets in an effort to see Champ Car racing eliminated.

Patrick said that only the lack of a complete sponsorship package had prevented him from announcing a definite entry in the IRL, which kicks off at Homestead at the end of the month. He told the Indianapolis Star that he had been close to a deal to run former Mo Nunn driver Felipe Giaffone before the Brazilian's Hollywood tobacco sponsorship dried up.

The rumour mill has already suggested that Patrick - whose team has won three Indianapolis 500s - will now link up with former CART and IRL race winner Al Unser Jr.

"[The situation with CART is] very disappointing to me personally - it's time for me to move on," he told the US media, "I have enough funding to do it right now, if I fund part of it myself."

Former Patrick general manager Jim McGee has confirmed to the Indianapolis Star that all of the team's CART equipment, including four race cars, is for sale.

Current speculation suggests that Emerson Fittipaldi will take over at least one of Patrick's machines, although previous reports that PK Racing boss Kevin Kalkhoven had bought an entry for the Brazilian have yet to be officially confirmed.

Earlier in the year, both Jimmy Vasser and Paul Tracy had been linked to a possible purchase, although this is now unlikely.