Briscoe confident of full-time IndyCar seat

Ryan Briscoe

Ryan Briscoe

Ryan Briscoe is closing on a deal to return to the IndyCar Series full-time in 2014.

The 32-year-old Australian split his time between IndyCars, sportscars and V8 Supercars this year after losing his five-year seat with Penske Racing at the end of the previous season.

Briscoe has long been expected to seal a full-time drive with Panther Racing, for whom he made six starts this year, but is yet to conclude a deal.

The former championship winning team endured a tumultuous 2013, with the post-Indianapolis 500 benching of JR Hildebrand seeing Briscoe sharing the car with Oriol Servia for the remainder of the year.

A broken wrist for Briscoe at Toronto in July further interrupted the season.

Panther’s finances were dealt a major blow earlier this month when long-time backer The National Guard, believed to be the biggest single-car sponsor in the sport, announced it will switch to Rahal Racing next year.

“It’s complicated, but I’m hoping to be able to finalise my IndyCar deal for next year pretty soon, hopefully in the next couple of weeks,” said Briscoe, who also made a one-off start with his former team Ganassi Racing at this year’s Indy 500.

The Sydney native added that he plans to continue to dabble in sportscars next year having completed the balance of the 2013 American Le Mans Series, as well as the Le Mans 24 Hours, with Scott Tucker’s Level 5 Motorsport.

A return to the V8 Supercars endurance races is also a strong possibility next year, with the compacted 2014 IndyCar schedule finishing in August.

Last weekend marked Briscoe’s fourth consecutive appearance on the Gold Coast with the Walkinshaw Racing stable, having earlier competed with the team at Sandown and Bathurst in 2006.

After scoring his first podium in the championship alongside veteran Russell Ingall, Briscoe made positive noises about one day returning home for a full-time attack on the championship.

“I’m sort of playing it year-by-year and at the moment I’m still pursuing my career in the US,” he said when asked if a full V8 Supercars season is of interest.

“It’s tough this sport but it’s part of the reason why I love coming out and driving these cars, just keeping my face out there.

“It’s been a blast being able to do the three races this year, getting to know everybody and becoming part of the sport, not just doing the one-off that I’ve been doing in the last few years.

“Who knows down the road, but not next year. Maybe the year after that…”

Briscoe has lived in the United States for nine years and is married to current ESPN NASCAR television presenter Nicole.

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