Tony George’s OFFER OF cash incentives to persuade Champ Car teams to join the unified Indycar series has not been enough to lure some of the top outfits.
Indianapolis boss George has struck a deal for each Champ Car team to be granted a one-year Honda engine lease, two Dallara chassis and $1.2 million from the IRL’s new team support programme paid for each car entered into the championship.
To take up the offer, the teams must turn out for the Long Beach Grand Prix on April 20, which will mark the final appearance of the Champ Car Panoz-Cosworth DP01. The regular IRL teams will compete in the clashing Motegi oval race in Japan on the same weekend, but both races will count for Indycar series points.
Despite these incentives, Champ Car team owners Gerald Forsythe and Paul Stoddart have declined to take up the offer, while an entry from Derrick Walker is in serious doubt.
But champions Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and the outfit owned by former Champ Car co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven and retired driver Jimmy Vasser will make the switch, with two cars each. The IRL season kicks off at Homestead on March 29.