Champ Car gets weaker

The Champ Car troops are in the final stages of preparation for the start of the new season in Las Vegas on April 8 and there are clear signs that the drives available need funding and those without funding have little chance of landing a drive. The Rocketsports and RuSport teams have announced that they are to merge their operations at the races with Justin Wilson and Alex Tagliani named as the drivers. Neither team could find the sponsorship to run a second car and so have decided to combine to form a team called Rsports.

Gerry Forsythe has faced up to realities and has hired Mario Dominguez for his team. The Mexican comes with backing from the Mexican phone company Telmex. It will be remembered that Forsythe fired the Mexican early last year after he and Paul Tracy collided in the race at Milwaukee.

Elsewhere Graham Rahal has finally been confirmed as the second driver at Newman Haas Lanigan Racing while Dan Clark and Robert Doornbos have been confirmed as the drivers of Minardi Team USA.

Canadian rising star Andrew Ranger has been forced to throw in the towel and has signed a deal to drive in the NASCAR Canada series, while France's Sebastien Philippe does not seem to have much chance of a ride.

At the moment the series has 16 confirmed cars with another expected from Conquest Racing. Dale Coyne has yet to name his drivers but it is thought the favourites for the drive are Bruno Junqueira and Katherine Legge.

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