JUNE 1, 2005
A job with Paul Newman
Paul Newman and Carl Haas are going to need a new driver for the rest of the season in Champ Car racing because Bruno Junqueira's back injuries are unlikely to give the Brazilian much chance of a comeback this year. Junqueira underwent surgery yesterday at Indianapolis Methodist Hospital and all the signs are that he will be fine in the long term but that he needs to be careful not to try to make too quick a comeback. Junqueira was leading the Champ Car series by a point from his team mate Sebastien Bourdais. Newman and Haas must now decide what is best to do and that will no doubt cause some scrambling amongst the drivers in America to fill what is a very desirable seat in the series. Obviously Newman and Haas do not want to take too big a risk on a rookie and a look down the championship standings suggest that the likes of Cristiano da Matta, Timo Glock, AJ Allmendinger and Ryan Hunter-Reay would all be good targets. All are under contract elsewhere although in such circumstances contracts mean little if drivers are willing to pay to move to a better drive. The option is to bring in an outsider and thee obvious targets for that would be the drivers in and around F1 who are frustrated and looking for a future. There are several who leap to mind, notably Franck Montagny, Anthony Davidson and Antonio Pizzonia.
Whatever the case a decision is needed quickly as the teams are racing this weekend in Milwaukee although the logical thing to would be to take on an oval specialist for the one weekend before making a decision about the rest of the year.
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