The two sides in America's current open-wheel racing 'war' have decided that, despite efforts to get them to solve their differences, they are better off following their own directions in the immediate future.

Team boss Roger Penske has made it a personal crusade to explore the possible unification of open-wheel racing, and has met on more than one occasion with representatives of both the Champ Car World Series and the Indy Racing League to consider the 'issues' currently preventing them from coming together.

The outcome of the latest meeting, however, was not necessarily as productive as Penske may have hoped.

While both parties agreed that one open-wheel series would be the best situation for the sport in the USA, it was commonly agreed that time was not right for further discussion on potential unification. A statement issued as a result of the meeting said that both parties appreciated Penske's efforts to bring them together, and claimed that all involved now had a better understanding of where common ground exists. However, no further meetings are planned, and both series will continue to move forward with their own plans for the future.

Penske's initiative comes just months after a bitter courtroom battle over the assets left by the CART organisation that previously ran Champ Car. Despite a concerted effort from Indy Racing League president Tony George to acquire the assets - portrayed by many in the sport as an attempt to bury Champ Car once-and-for-all - the OWRS consortium headed by team owners Paul Gentilozzi, Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerry Forsythe won out, leading to the resurrection of the CCWS with an 18-car field for 2004.

 

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