I’ve been remiss on not answering the United Open Wheel Word Butcher questions of the last couple of weeks and there’s another one up today, so let’s run through some quickie answers:
Many IRL drivers from last season have not been officially signed to a deal for 2009. This includes Ryan Hunter-Reay, Oriol Servia, Justin Wilson, Darren Manning, Buddy Rice, AJ Foyt IV, Bruno Junqueira, Enrique Bernoldi, Jaime Camara, Milka Duno, Townsend Bell, Mario Dominguez, and a few others. How many of these drivers will be driving in the IRL this season?
This question was posted on Feb 9th and obviously we now know the fates of Wilson, Duno and hopefully Junky (I think he’ll get the other Coyne car). I think Camara is in with Conquest again, he’s listed to test with them tomorrow but I don’t know if he’s confirmed.
I don’t see many of these others getting drives without funding. I’m pretty sure Manning is in sportscars, RHR and Servia definitely need to be in the series but I don’t see anything rumoured on the other blogs/sites. So we’re getting some good guys back, some are sitting out who shouldn’t be sitting out, and others… I don’t really care about!
If you were given one wish and could change anything about auto racing, what would you’re one wish be?
Two words: Economic Recovery!!
At this point all the stuff we’d usually discuss about drivers, teams, tracks, events, sponsors, etc – these things are just niceties right now. We just need to survive. It’s that bad. So essentially what I’d change is the attitudes in some parts of racing right now who seem to have their heads in the sand, thinking this is just going to go away by itself.
“Of the unemployed drivers in the Indycar Series (see below) which two would you employ to join your racing team”
* Ryan Hunter-Reay
* Oriol Servia
* Justin Wilson
* Darren Manning
* Buddy Rice
* AJ Foyt IV
* Bruno Junqueira
* Enrique Bernoldi
* Jaime Camara
* Townsend Bell
* Mario Dominguez
* Jay Howard
* Alex Lloyd
* Tomas Scheckter
We can strike Wilson and Camara as taken for Coyne and Conquest, I don’t think they are 100% official yet but they are almost there.
So to answer the question: I’ll take Ryan Hunter-Reay and Darren Manning, please. Servia is a close call but Manning nicks it for patriotic and personality/PR reasons – and I’ll take RHR any day, he’s the business.
* * *
Interesting day tomorrow, we’ve got announcements from the BBC F1 team on what they have planned, we’ll have something from Peter Windsor’s USF1 operation, and perhaps something will come from the former Honda F1 team as I believe their Mercedes engine option timed out today. While all this happens the IndyCars will have their first test of the year, at the Homestead oval, which will be about as useful as any test of any car in terms of form guides but it’ll give us something to talk about.
I’ll do a round-up at this time tomorrow, if some of that hasn’t happened yet then tough!
Tell me if you know any more!