The Indy Racing League and Champ Car series have signed a deal today agreeing to a merger, ending a 12-year conflict by bringing the two open-wheel races under a single IRL series. Champ Car owners Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerald Forsythe signed the agreement with IRL founder Tony George today, just a month before the season opener at Homestead on March 29.

Neither Champ Car nor IRL have managed to capture the audience they enjoyed prior to the 1995 split, and both have been struggling to compete with NASCAR and were close to going bankrupt just as the original CART series did in the early part of the decade, reports Sporting News. Champ Car was started in 2004 after Kalkhoven and Forsythe bought the rights to the bankrupt CART series in the 2003 offseason.

Both competitions also saw a number of high-profile drivers jump ship to rival NASCAR and F1 including last season's Indy 500 and IRL championship winner Dario Franchitti and 2007 Champ Car winner Sebastien Bourdais.