If you were to judge by the quality of the racing alone, you could make a strong case for current-era IndyCar being the best single-seater championship on the planet right now.
The problem is that it's chasing a ghost; a memory of a time in the tantalisingly recent past when single-seater racing in the US was viewed - with some justification - as a legitimate threat to Formula 1 in the battle for the hearts and minds of motorsport fans.
That period of demonic cars, plentiful sponsorships, strong TV and race attendances, and Zanardi doughnuts eventually fell victim to its own history as the full ramifications of the split with the Indy Racing League became felt. Just 10 years after CART/Champ Car's heyday the series had ceased to exist; absorbed into the folds of its former rival and reinvented as the IndyCar Series we know today.
To continue reading this feature, subscribe to Autosport Plus today.
Are you an Autosport magazine subscriber? Activate your online account
- Your Autosport Plus subscription includes:
- Unlimited access to Autosport's news - no monthly cap.
- Read the best motorsport features, analysis and opinion.
- Explore Forix, our comprehensive motorsport stats database.
- Choose from a monthly or yearly membership.