Now that it’s a new work week and the tryptophan has hopefully worked itself through your system, you’ve had and enjoyed your family time, it’s time for the final few full work weeks of the 2015 calendar before the next round of holidays – Christmas time.
Those who already have confirmed seats for the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season are certainly thankful for what they have.
Meanwhile if we flash back some 12 months to look at the then-available amount of talent waiting in the wings, here’s what stood as the unconfirmed seats:
- Chip Ganassi Racing, fourth car (along with a formal confirmation of the full lineup)
- Andretti Autosport, fourth car (plus a possible fifth)
- Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, second car
- KVSH Racing/KV Racing Technology, second car
- CFH Racing, No. 20 road and street course driver alongside Ed Carpenter (ovals)
- Dale Coyne Racing, both cars
- Bryan Herta Autosport, first car
Flash forward 12 months later, and the situation is exactly identical. Those exact same seats have yet to be confirmed for 2016.
The only differences from above is that the first three drivers at Chip Ganassi Racing – four-time and defending champion Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Charlie Kimball – already have been formally confirmed for 2016, and Sage Karam has not.
Karam’s manager told RACER.com a little over a week ago that his contract was not retained for 2016; that said, it’s “only” November and conceivably he could return if enough budget is found.
Sebastien Bourdais is still anticipated to return with KVSH Racing for a third season; A.J. Foyt Enterprises also hasn’t formally confirmed, but is expected to keep its same lineup of Takuma Sato and Jack Hawksworth.
Gabby Chaves is expected to return for a second season with BHA, while of the other seats listed above, the second SPM seat is the most intriguing option.
Proof then that the more things change in IndyCar, the more they stay the same. And when there’s very little news on the driver market… there’s very little news on the driver market.