Briscoe not planning V8 Supercar switch
Ryan Briscoe has ruled himself out of the V8 Supercar driver market for the immediate future, as he seeks greater success in the IZOD IndyCar Series with Team Penske.
The 29-year-old, racing at Bathurst this weekend with Bundaberg Red Racing, says he would like to continue to fill an endurance role in the coming seasons, rather than a full-time position.
Briscoe’s comments quash pit lane chat that he could join the Holden Racing Team full-time next year in place of Will Davison.
Davison, the 2009 championship runner-up, is yet to confirm his plans for 2011 and has been linked to a move to the #6 entry at Ford Performance Racing for several months now.
The five-time IndyCar race winner impressed the V8 Supercar paddock when he last ran the endurance races in 2006, qualifying on provisional pole at the Sandown 500, and would be a highly sort after commodity should he ever move back to Australia.
“I’m really planning on racing IndyCars in the near future,” he told Speedcafe.com.au.
“While I’ve got the opportunity, I really want to go for Indy 500s and IndyCar championships.
“I’d never rule anything out, but for the very short term, I’d like to be able to come back and do the enduros next year, if that’s possible. That really depends on how that fits with my racing with the states.”
It is thought that Briscoe’s marriage to American ESPN anchor Nicole Manske may also decrease the likelihood of the former Sydneysider returning to Australia full-time.
While he currently has no confirmed IndyCar seat next year, Briscoe is confident that he’ll remain in Roger Penske’s famed squad, alongside current team-mates Will Power and Helio Castroneves.
“I’m looking forward to the same program,” said Briscoe.
“It’s not 100 percent yet, and the team’s still looking for final funding to run three cars, but Roger’s been very positive, and things are looking good to have the three cars with the same drivers as this year.”
Briscoe finished this year’s IndyCar season fifth in points with just one victory – a disappointing outcome after challenging for the title in 2009.
“It wasn’t the greatest of seasons,” he admitted.
“I had several unlucky races which hurt our championship. We got one race win in Texas, and ran strong in a lot of races, but I wasn’t as solid as I was last year.
“It was a little bit circumstantial, and then you get to a point in the season where you become the wingman for the guy in the team that needs to go for the championship.
“It’s a really strong team, and we work together, and we try to help each other in the races. I think it was solid, but there were just a few unlucky races that hurt the points.”
In yesterday’s first V8 Supercars sessions at Mount Panorama, Briscoe finished Practice 2 (for co-drivers only) in 27th place, 3.08s off Warren Luff’s session topping time.