we interrupt this merger talk… *updated*

To bring you the following post….

With the first of the 3 spring testing sessions just around the corner, (assuming there is a corner and a season to contest…) let’s just see where we stand as far as drivers/teams go. (hell, it’s not like there is anything else to talk about right?!?!)

Team: Conquest Racing
Car/drivers forcast:(2)
Has a substantial sponsor, presumably tied to Nelson Phillipe. I guess from there it is a race to see if either of Bachelart’s drivers from 07 can muster up the funds, or if there is another chap with a pocket full of euro’s in the wings….

Line up:
– Franck Perera ($/?) depending on the hour he is either signed or not with this team
– Nelson Phillipe (?) tied to Opes Prime
– Jan Heylen (?)
– Matt Halliday(?)
– James Winslow (?) also tied to Opes Prime
– as yet unknown ride buyer (?)

Team: Dale Coyne Racing
Car/drivers forcast:(2)(?)
Tradition tells us that we will find out about this particular line up when they pull into the paddock in Long Beach.

Line up:
-Bruno Junquiera (?) (did a great job for Dale last year, unlikely that anyone else is sniffing around to steal him away…)
– Katherine Legge (?) (rumoured to be looking at sports cars)

Team: Forsythe/Pettit Racing
Car/drivers forcast:(2)(3?)
As it was during the last off season, winter 07 was filled with intrigue and conspiracy and massive crew change over. Unlike last year however, the team is rallying back with a guaranteed 2 car effort, and a new attitude, and a new “owner”.

Line up:
– Paul Tracy ($) (and everyone breathes a sigh of relief)
– David Martinez (?) (personally, I think the kid deserves a shot for more than just the races he can speak the local language…)
– Justin Wilson (?) (rumoured to be packing lawyers to prevent this)
– Franck Perera (?) (T) (rumoured to be benefiting from the abandoned 2 mill)

Team: Minardi Team USA
Car/drivers forcast:(2)
New kid on the block last year, with instant success. Awfully quiet over the off season, other than a rookie test of some kids with pedigree & cash…

Line up:
– Robert Doornbos (?) (rumoured to be in the running for the NHL seat)
– Dan Clarke (?) (rumoured to be looking at the IRL or at least the Indy 500)
– Ernesto Viso (?)(T) (no fucking clue)
– Dillon Battistini (?)(T) (couldn’t pick him out of a line up)

Team: Newman Haas Lanigan
Car/drivers forcast:(2)
The star/cornerstone of the line-up has left for F1, half the crew headed for other pastures, Newman is recovering from cancer surgery, Haas is threatening to take the team to the IRL in 09 if a merger doesn’t happen, and on and on… they are in possession of the most coveted seat in the series, The MACdonah’s car. But who will sit in it…

Line up:
– Graham Rahal (?) (unless something went horribly wrong in the off season.. pretty much a lock)
– Justin Wilson (?) (rumoured to be getting this seat) (must be fully inoculated to prevent whineritis first)

Team: PCM
Car/drivers forcast:(2)
The little engine that could. Came out of the gate youthful and energetic, full of humility and realistic hope for the future. Set the standard for “pimping your ride” at every venue. A feel good story until they kicked Ryan Dalziel to the curb via post-it note (SATC ref.) at the end of last season… “show me da money”… ick. So much for the good guys. As it turns out, they may have lost the Tecate money after all… karma, thy name is bitch.

Line up:
-Alex Figge ($) (duh… )
– Mario Dominguez (?) (rumoured to keep Ryan’s er.. “his” seat contingient on the mexican sponsorship monies…)

Team: PKV
Car/drivers forcast:(2)
Threw the fanbase for a loop when they signed on two ride buyers last year, leaving Servia and Kat rideless. This year? Red Bull has pulled their money and drivers from both CC & CCA, Neel Jani has decided that he would rather race and try to win a championship in A1GP than come back here and test. Go Go Gommendy? Got money?

Line up:
– Oriol Servia ($) (was the first driver to be announced! he deserves it after last year)
– Alex Tagliani (?) (explain to me again why an 8yr veteran has to “test”??? just sign him for fuck sake)
– Tristan Gommendy (?) (had flashes of brilliance or pure luck, but no mo money)
– Raphael Matos (?) (er… nevermind)

Team: Rocketsports
Car/drivers forcast:(?) (don’t know… don’t care… from what I’m hearing, could be a moot discussion. Moving on)(ok… in fairness to all involved with the team who I respect, who’s initials aren’t PG, I’ll continue…)

– Enrique Bernoldi ($) Brazilian stock car/ex-F1 driver – guess the cheque cleared
– Alexandre Negrao (?) Brazilian GP2 backmarker

Team: Team Australia
Car/drivers forcast:(1) (2?)
Were gearing up for 3 cars last November… possibly adding Kat to the line-up, now will be lucky to run one… *sigh* Walker & Gore (who is MIA) have been very vocal about the state of the series… we shall see.

Line up:
– Will Power (?) (rumoured to be sniffing around the IRL) (most likely to get the seat)
– Simon Pagenaud (?) (With no sponsorship and no more “scholarship” money, things aren’t looking good)

So there ya have it…

Testing will bring the euro cheques, er… “drivers” out of the wood work, and the veteran/sophomore drivers who don’t have a contract, will be dangled by their wobbly bits until the last minute I’m sure.

oh, damn! and lets not forget Jos the boss. I’m sure he will be in the mix somewhere.

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5 responses to “we interrupt this merger talk… *updated*

  1. You can also add Kat as a possible driver at Minardi… at least that was the case 2 weeks ago.

  2. Well, I’m sure I just killed my chances for a hard card: http://www.deepthrottle.com/Essays/impossible.shtml

  3. ha! I just read that! Well said! (and you’re not the first to say it)
    Put it this way, if they start blocking out those of us who cover the series for free on the interweb, they are really fucked. Look at Vegas last year! There were no mainstream media in the room until the weekend.

  4. Good article, Rus’L.

  5. yup, nice read Rus’l.

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