If Simon Pagenaud is the marquee full-season free agent in the Verizon IndyCar Series, then Mike Conway is the marquee part-timer who’s still trying to figure out his 2015 plans.
For two straight years, Conway has been the star part-timer running only on road and street courses, and has three wins. This past season with Ed Carpenter Racing, Conway won at Long Beach and Toronto race two.
The Englishman is enjoying what he’s doing, but is unable to commit to either IndyCar or his Toyota Racing commitments in the FIA World Endurance Championship until either championship releases a 2015 schedule.
“Yeah it’s been great. I love what I’ve been able to do this year in terms of a split schedule,” Conway told MotorSportsTalk in Austin this past weekend.
“I’d love to do IndyCar again and I love driving this too, so it’s not an easy decision, and I still don’t know what will happen. It’s still a case of ifs, buts or maybes.”
Conway would still seem to have the inside line on CFH Racing’s No. 20 seat for the road and street courses if he can. But if there’s more than one IndyCar/WEC date conflict, you’d have to think Conway would be forced to choose one or the other.
CFH, too, may be in a position where they’d rather have just one extra driver alongside team co-owner Ed Carpenter for the road and street courses rather than a rotation of Conway and perhaps one other.
Without full schedules being determined, there are key points of interest to note from the dates that have already been released.
Long Beach’s date has shifted to April 19, which falls on the same weekend as this year’s date for the FIA WEC opener in Silverstone.
The Le Mans date of June 13-14, 2015 was an IndyCar off weekend this year, but the potential exists an IndyCar race could enter into that weekend, with a Canadian date at either Toronto or Canadian Tire Motorsport Park mooted.
One thing Conway isn’t planning on doing is the FIA Formula E Championship, which he had originally signed up for with Dragon Racing but sat out the first race in Beijing to prepare for his Toyota debut in the WEC.
“Nothing’s happening there, and I have nothing scheduled right now,” he said. “It’s kind of nice, because I haven’t had many weekends off. It gives me more time to focus on this.”
His Toyota debut ended with just a sixth place finish, however it did feature an amazing slide job that Conway managed to hang onto in the driving rain.