Pain in the Indy Racing League

The financial realities of the split between the Indy Racing League and Champ Car are now beginning to bit with the news that several IRL teams are having to pay off staff. Target Chip Ganassi Racing laid off nine mechanics a few weeks ago when the decision was taken to cut his entry next year from three cars to two. This was followed by layoffs at Cheever Racing, which is looking for a sponsor now that Red Bull has decided not to continue in the IRL. Now comes news that Panther Racing has laid off its staff because it does not currently have the money to run a programme in 2006. The team was running Tomas Scheckter and Tomas Enge and in 2001 and 2002 won two IRL titles with Sam Hornish Jr. The team hopes to call back the staff in a few weeks when money is found but the danger is that the best people will be snapped up by rivals. Panther Racing has been sponsored by Pennzoil since 1998 but the contract recently expired and has not been renewed.

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