The IRL is to hold a press conference today that will be covered live on SPEEDTV. It’s to go over the recently announced unification of the rival open wheel series, the IRL & Champcar World Series.
This will be a tough year for the Champcar teams that will be incorporated into the IRL. They are basically starting from scratch with chassis that are foreign to them; unless they have raced the Indy 500 in the recent past. Testing is a HUGE part of racing and can gain you seconds on the race track. And seconds can be the difference between first place and fifth place; or even last place. What goes on behind the scenes in racing has a massive impact in track performance. Knowing the Champcar teams like Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, Forsythe Racing, PKV Racing, etc one can tell that they will do all they can to prepare themselves for this cluster that is 2008. They are proven winners and their professionalism is rivaled by no one. Whether or not they will be able to compete for podiums this year, remains to be seen; but don’t count them out too soon(especially someone with no fear like Paul Tracy who was airborne, hitting the rev limiter going into a downhill turn in Vegas).
More importantly we as fans, especially staunch Champcar fans, need to suck it up and embrace this unification. It may not be perfect and we may feel like Champcar conceded on everything to unify, but Champcar was bleeding money like a sieve and at times was terribly mis-managed.
For the first time in years we could see 24-26 cars on a race grid! Isn’t that amazing?! We have Newman/Haas competing against Penske and Ganassi. We’ve got the next generation of Rahal vs. Andretti vs. Foyt, names that ring of racing history.
So please, let go of the past, we cannot change it. We may not like it but let’s throw it in the closet and support a unified open wheel racing series.