Newman Haas Lanigan Racing co-owner Carl Haas has admitted that Champ Car's most successful team could elect to defect to the IndyCar Series as soon as next year if a merger between the two can't be agreed.

Rumours of possible merger talks have increased with both series facing low grid numbers for the season ahead - Champ Car in particular having only filled a minority number of seats thus far for the 2008 campaign.

According to Speed TV, IndyCar Series chief Tony George put forward a proposal to Champ Car bosses to bring the two series' together for 2008, incorporating a number of Champ Car events into the IndyCar calendar and offering Dallara chassis and Honda engine leases to Champ Car teams who made the commitment to the 2008 season.

Although his team remains committed to Champ Car for the season ahead, Haas admitted that discussions had been held regarding a possible switch - with the real possibility that it could happen next year.

"It hasn't happened yet but we've certainly considered going," he said. "It may not happen this year, but it's highly probable we'll do it in 2009 because there needs to be one series."

Team Australia team boss Derrick Walker was amongst those to suggest that a merger was the only way forward for both series.

"I was never consulted on anything that had to do with the Speedway but anything we can do to get this thing together is a no-brainer," he said. "We're all strapped for cash on both sides, and if there's a package that can help you keep going, you've got to do it."

However, Conquest Racing boss Eric Bachelart said there he could see one major stumbling which would need to be overcome before a merger could take place.

"The problem I see is that the IRL and Tony would want control and that's tough for the Champ Car guys," he said. "Champ Car has a bit of a crisis, no doubt, but Kevin and Gerry are still motivated and I have faith in them. This is the best situation we've ever been in as a team. I just ordered a new car, I have a new partner and we have a good package in Champ Car.

"It's too late to do anything for 2008 but Tony's plan is a good idea for 2009."


Loading Comments...