A1GP may replace Champ Car in Surfers

A key component of the proposed open-wheel merger may undergo a changing of the guard if talks between the IRL and Champ Car fall through.

The Gold Coast Bulletin of Queensland, Australia is reporting that the A1 Grand Prix series may take over the Champ Car World Series’ annual blowout at Surfer’s Paradise, Australia, if the IRL and Champ Car are unable to come to terms. Support would continue from the V8 Supercars.

The street-racing festival on Oz’s sunny Gold Coast is one of three Champ Car events expected to be absorbed into the IndyCar Series if unification takes place.

The Bulletin reports that Craig Gore — a recent partner of Derrick Walker’s Champ Car squad and abandoner of the V8s — had a power lunch over the future of the Gold Coast race with former F1 champ Alan Jones and Aussie motorsports journalist Brett Murray. They go on to report that two weeks ago, the race’s chairman apparently got wined and dined in New Zealand — on A1GP’s tab.

Two things jump out at me. One is the fact that the Surfer’s guys have apparently drawn out their contingency plans. The Gold Coast race is a peach weekend that I assume does quite a bit for the local economy. Good on them for having a backup in case merger talks go pear-shaped for the 4,764th time.

The other is that they are still carrying on as if everything’s been sorted out merger-wise. Remember, the Bulletin has been on this tack since last Monday, when they published this piece.

I’m still inclined to see this as speculation. But I can’t help but have a tiny voice in my head going, “Do those guys know something we don’t?" MVN.com

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