So, when you last tuned into a Champ Car race, the driver line up looked like this: (in red are the changes you will see this weekend in OZ, in blue the reason)
N/H/L – S. Bourdais
N/H/L – G. Rahal
RuSPORTS – J. Wilson
PKV – T. Gommendy (replaced by O. Servia) (money)
PKV – N. Jani
Team Australia – W. Power
Team Australia – S. Pagenaud
FCR – P. Tracy
FCR – O. Servia (replaced by D. Martinez) (nationality quota)
Conquest – J. Heylen (replaced by N. Phillipe) (money)
Minardi – R. Doornbos
Minardi – D. Clarke
DCR – B. Junqueira
DCR – K. Legge
rocketsports – A. Tagliani
PCM – R. Dalziel (replaced by M. Dominguez) (nationality quota/money)
PCM – A. Figge
This of course is all subject to change right up until race day. (wish I was joking, but you all know thats not far from the truth)
Not only have the drivers been playing a cruel game of musical chairs, but the teams and the series players have been cleaning house behind the scenes too. If you’re dropping by OZ to see an old friend on a team or on staff, call first… just sayin is all.
While I’m glad to wake up this morning to see Servia in a seat to continue to earn the valuable points that will hopefully help to secure a seat for next year, I’m sad that yet another driver falls by the wayside due to “money issues” or whatever the excuse du jour is and I’m sad that he is not continuing his journey with the team and crew that took him this far this season, for everyone’s sake.
If this were a constructor series, then the drivers really wouldn’t rank high on the importance scale, but this is a spec series. Same car, same engine, same tires… the ONE variable is the driver! It’s the one thing that you can place your bets on, pin your hopes on, put your support behind as a fan. My series cap collection is like the boulevard of broken dreams. Seriously sad. They should just put a little dry erase board panel on of all the team swag so the fans can just insert the name of whomever is driving on any given weekend.