Despite the Canadian's initial reticence to run with anyone other than a recognised frontrunning team in the unified IndyCar Series, Paul Tracy may yet find himself in league with Tony George's Vision Racing this May.

If history is considered, Tracy and George make unlikely bedfellow, especially after the 2002 Indianapolis 500. Helio Castroneves 'won' for Penske, but Tracy claimed to have passed the Brazilian on lap 199 prior to a caution period - and, importantly, before reaching the yellow light signifying no overtaking. Team owner Barry Green appealed the result, but Castroneves' victory was upheld, first by the Indy Racing League and, then, by George, who acted as an official arbitrator.

Tracy, however, has been left high and dry by Gerry Forsythe's decision not to enter a team in the unified series and, with few other race-winning opportunities presenting themselves, could be forced to accept a seat at Vision or miss the 500 altogether. George admitted in the last week that he would be interested in running the Canadian if he was willing to accept an olive branch.

"I intend to call," George stated, "I got a message from [Tracy]'s business manager, but I didn't have a chance to call him back. The message was that he's free to talk about a ride, beginning as early as Motegi [next weekend]."

While George's subsequent claim that Tracy told him he would not be running Long Beach- hence the ability to run at Motegi - appears to be wide of the mark according to the latest rumours, nothing concrete has been put into place for a possible tie-up in the IRL.

"I'm not sure what his prospects are, and I'm not sure what teams have available seats that would meet his expectations," the CEO admitted, "We're currently planning to be a two-car team but, on the outside chance we would need to add a third, or on the outside chance the right business opportunity comes along for us to run a third, we would consider that. But, you know, at this point I'm not inclined to go spend a lot more money to do that. I don't think we'll need to.

"On the other hand, I'd like to see Paul in and, if it could be with Vision, that would be great. If it could be with another team, that would be great. I just want him to have the chance to come over now and, probably [over] a year or two, transition into the next phase of his professional career.

"But it is kind of unfortunate, some would say a travesty, that he's been sort of left on the sidelines here. I'll have plenty of time to call back and find out what's going on"

Tracy has admitted that, should he not be able to continue his open-wheel career, he would resurrect plans to switch to NASCAR. George, meanwhile, is hopeful that the unified IndyCar Series can help stem the tide of drivers heading for stockcars.

"We'll see, all I can say is 'we'll see'," he commented, "It would be my hope that people would want to view this series as a destination for those who want to run in this series based on what it is - a diverse, challenging, high profile, top-shelf form of racing - I would hope that that is enough to attract, retain and maybe even draw back some people who had been part of it in the past."



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