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Merger deal ready to be finalised

Indy Racing League and Champ Car officials are still working through the final paperwork to seal the merger between the two championships.

A deal is now increasingly likely to go ahead, with a press conference perhaps taking place as early as tomorrow, and both sides are believed to be in the final stages of putting pen to paper on a contract.

Fred Nation, spokesman for IRL founder Tony George, told The Indianapolis Star: "We are still trading drafts of a (possible) agreement.

"We are whittling away at the issues, but they have not been eliminated. We're optimistic these things can be resolved, but... it's always possible that (someone) will decide they don't want to (unify)."

Nation added that the main topic of discussion at the moment related to the financial aspects of a deal, with the stumbling block of the clash between the Motegi IRL race and Long Beach's Champ Car date having been overcome.

If a deal does go ahead, it is not clear yet which Champ Car teams will turn down the chance to join the newly merged series.

IRL chassis supplier Dallara said they were on standby to supply extra cars for this season, although admitted that it was now getting late in the day to expand their operation.

Gian Paolo Dallara told Italian magazine Autosprint: "We have been advised to keep ourselves ready for this possibility (of supplying extra cars).

"Several (Champ Car) teams are asking us when we can supply them with the (IRL) cars. We were ready for what are normal replacements, like some teams wanting to freshen up their supply. So we stay alert and ready to satisfy any requests.

"However, time is short, and perhaps the best solution would be delay this merger until 2009. Carl Haas has already said that he wants to enter the IRL next year."

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