Briscoe expected to continue in SPM car for balance of IndyCar season post-Toronto

3 Comments

LE MANS, France – The Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team hasn’t confirmed it officially, but it is likely that Ryan Briscoe will be in the No. 5 Arrow/Lucas Oil Schmidt Peterson Honda for the final six races of the Verizon IndyCar Series season, after he misses this weekend’s upcoming Honda Indy in Toronto.

Conor Daly will fill in for Briscoe while he races this week with Corvette Racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. So Briscoe would race at Auto Club Speedway on June 27 through to the season finale in Sonoma August 30, unless James Hinchcliffe is cleared and ready to go at some point.

Briscoe has partnered with Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia in the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup rounds of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, and thus far opened the year with wins at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Briscoe confirmed talks with the SPM team, and formal confirmation should come shortly.

“Yeah we’ve talked. It’s definitely the plan to be finishing out the year with those guys,” Briscoe told MotorSportsTalk during scrutineering at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The news would undoubtedly be unfortunate for Daly, who like Briscoe has also impressed while filling in for the injured Hinchcliffe.

Hinchcliffe has not yet been issued a timetable of when he may be able to return to the cockpit following his injuries sustained in practice for the Indianapolis 500. We may know more on Wednesday, when a conference call with the “Mayor of Hinchtown” is scheduled.

As for Briscoe, he expanded on his Texas drive earlier today.

“Yeah I mean it was a tough race. It was all about who would suffer the least (on tires), and I didn’t quite have enough for the top four guys,” he said.

“But we were better than a lot of good cars out there. We moved our way up into the top four or five at one point. We got beaten by the Andretti boys on fuel strategy; a bit frustrating because we were better than those guys. But it was a really good race for us.”

It was also a good weekend for Briscoe, who got to see his family in Austin on the same weekend as the X Games were taking place there. His wife, Nicole, was working the event.

Briscoe had originally planned to stay in Europe from the Le Mans Test Day through to race week, but a training program in Italy was scrapped so Briscoe could go back to Texas.

“I’d rather be in Texas,” he said.

Andretti ‘getting closer’ to re-signing Alexander Rossi in IndyCar

INDYCAR Photo by Joe Skibinski
INDYCAR Photo by Joe Skibinski
Leave a comment

TORONTO – Team owner Michael Andretti told NBCSports.com that contract negotiations with both Alexander Rossi and Honda Performance Development are progressing positively with hopes of reaching a conclusion “within the next week or two.”

Andretti spoke to NBCSports.com and to NBCN’s Robin Miller Sunday at the Honda Indy Toronto.

“I think things are getting there,” Andretti said. “We’re not there yet, but we’re close. I can’t comment, but I think things are going in the right direction.

“Honda has been great. They’ve been really good to work with. I’m hoping we can put something together there, too. We’ve been part of Honda for so long. I think we are getting real close there.

“I’m hoping to have this resolved in the next week or two.”

Rossi, who is in the final year of his contract, finished third in the race, one position ahead of championship rival Josef Newgarden of Team Penske.

That leaves Rossi just four points behind Newgarden heading into Saturday night’s race at Iowa Speedway.

Rossi’s agent is his father, Pieter.

NBCSports.com spoke to Pieter Rossi before the race, and he also expressed optimism that a deal will be reached soon for his son as the star driver, 27, enters the prime years of his career.

Andretti had separate meetings with Honda Performance Development officials and with Pieter Rossi in the hours leading up to Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto.