Speed.com writer Robin Miller revealed yesterday afternoon that the IZOD IndyCar Series is in the final stages of negotiations with General Motors about bringing Chevrolet back into IndyCar Racing in 2012.
Miller added that an official announcement is expected to be made as early as Friday in Indianapolis. In perfect timing, IZOD IndyCar announced that there’ll be hosting a press conference on Friday at 10 a.m. EST at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.
Serious talks have been going on between Randy Bernard and the Detroit automaker since last week.
Talks began back in June when Bernard and Gil De Ferran, 2003 Indy 500 winner and co-owner of a current IndyCar team, pitched GM officials last summer. That meeting supposedly went well.
“It was a great meeting,” said Bernard back in June as according to SpeedTV.com. “They seemed to like our concepts of turbo V-6 and also being able to build your own bodywork.”
Then AutoExtremist.com reported last Sunday that it was a done deal. However, according to an insider in the automotive industry, a contract exists but nothing has been signed.
Chevrolet was brought into open wheel in 1986 by Roger Penske, where they won six straight Indy 500s from 1988-1993. One of those Indy 500s included the fastest in series history with Arie Luyendyk in 1990.
Chevrolet also found victory with Helio Castroneves with Chevy’s Oldsmobile engines in 2002 with Penske on board.
Though following the 2005 season, Chevrolet left the series.
If Chevrolet was to join the IndyCar Series fold, it’d make sense for Chip Ganassi to make a deal with them due to deal with Chevrolet in NASCAR. A lot of people had speculated that was already going on. However, Ganassi denies knowing anything about the story till last week when it broke out.
“I didn’t know about it until I read about it last Sunday,” said Ganassi, who captured the first of his three Indy 500s with Juan Montoya in 2000—driving an Oldsmobile. “If it happens, it would be great for our series. The more the merrier.”
Some have said that maybe Penske would rekindle that marriage with Chevrolet following his success in the late 1980s/early 1990s. However, would that be a conflict of interest due to his Dodge deal in NASCAR?
Either way, it looks to be a good move from the series. Since one of Detroit’s big three manufactures is backing it, maybe it’ll bring forth more fans.