With the announcements over the last few weeks of rides for the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series getting filled, questions have arised about what’s going to happen with Ryan Briscoe?
The reality is his hopes of racing full-time in the series for ’13 get bleaker and bleaker by the day.
Briscoe’s best option looked to be in the second car at Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan but James Jakes stole that seat. The team would have likely preferred to have Briscoe in the seat but he doesn’t bring funding where Jakes brings a full-time sponsor in Acorn Stairlifts.
His other two options at Schmidt and Andretti were filled or will be filled in the coming days as rookie and 2012 Firestone Indy Lights champion Tristian Vautier joined Schmidt, while Viso is likely to join Andretti. Again, both of those drivers provided funding.
That leaves only the seats at Dale Coyne Racing, Ganassi Racing and Penske left to be filled. Of course there’s the off chance a team like Sarah Fisher/Hartman Racing, Bryan Herta Autosport or A.J. Foyt Enterprises provides a second entry but that doesn’t seem likely unless they get funding, which Briscoe doesn’t have.
Justin Wilson is likely to rejoin Coyne in the No. 18 Honda for another year and Ganassi and Penskes seats don’t seem ideal for Briscoe as both have let him go.
All of this means a talented driver and last year’s Indianapolis 500 pole-winner won’t have a ride come March 24th in the season opener at St. Petersburg. It’s sad this day and age of racing has come to drivers with talent are left outside looking in as teams are taking lesser known talents with sponsors and funding.
Briscoe certainly deserves a ride of Jakes, Viso, Sato or Vautier but realistically he doesn’t bring the money they bring. I don’t doubt he will have a ride come May for the 97th Running of the Indianapolis 500 but unless he finds a full-time sponsor between now and then that’s going to be the first we see of the talented Aussie this season.
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