Merger issue

A reader asks, Dear, how many races do you see in 2007 if the Champ Car/IRL merger happens? Don King, Dallas, TX. Dear Don, Both series currently have 14 races for a total of 28. We believe you would see a 20 to 22 race schedule. It's interesting that both series continue to negotiate new races. While that may seem strange given the merger talks, it would make perfect sense if in fact there were to be a two division with playoff arrangement.

With that said, we do believe the goal is a single series with common equipment. We hear the IRL is lobbying for a 2-chassis series and wants Dallara to go head-to-head with Panoz, as they do now in the IRL. This of course would drive costs up but Panoz President Scott Atherton has gone on record as saying they would not stand in the way of a merger even though they have an exclusive contract for the 2007 Champ Car. We believe that a second chassis does absolutely nothing to increase fan appeal and would be a total waste of money, especially if one car turns out better than the other. Then teams who bought the wrong car have to buy the other cars. We fully endorse a multiple engine arrangement, however, as that brings in additional car manufacturers, something that is sorely needed. Mark C.

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