Austrian eyes Champ Car UPDATE We spotted Siedler in the Champ Car paddock this weekend in Mexico City and it appears that he is getting real serious about having a go at Champ Car in 2006. As we predicted, the demand for rides in Champ Car will significantly exceed the supply of teams/cars. New teams are holding off until 2007, so existing teams are going to have to step up and run a third car wherever possible. Mark C.
08/22/05 "Taking it to the Streets!" - the way the American Champ Car World Series presented itself at the Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver was a new and most fascinating experience for 20-year old Norbert Siedler who has just attended his first race event in the States.
In the shadows of a dramatic battle between Sebastien Bourdais and Paul Tracy on the streets of Colorado's capital the next Austrian on the overtaking lane and his manager Edi Nikolic had a couple of meetings in order to intensify their US-ambitions for 2006.
The fair chance to compete with equal cars, the great show and the friendly atmosphere in the paddock have left their marks as Norbert defines his new goals: "Yes, I think it would be a good route for me and these races on street circuits where you have to adapt very quickly to new conditions is exactly what I like."
Not only that he had some important meetings with several team principals Norbert also met Champ Car co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven: "It was like a Hollywood movie for me because on the one hand side I have never met such a powerful person before, on the other side he was so friendly and down-to-earth that I will never forget that invitation into his motorhome."
Siedler was among a clutch of drivers - including Minardi F1 recruit Christijan Albers and fellow Dutchman Nicky Pastorelli - who tested with Derrick Walker's squad before it became Team Australia, and impressed the doughty Scot before missing out on a possible seat because of a budgetary shortfall. He returned to Europe to compete in the Italian 3000 series, but has kept in touch with the Walker operation, and Champ Car in general, in order to prepare for a possible graduation next year.
"Derrick is a special person with a big heart, and I was happy to see that Team Australia is making progress," Siedler reported, "However, I also met a few other team principals, including Kevin Kalkhoven, who runs PKV as well as Champ Car itself.
"It was a little bit like being in a Hollywood movie for me, meeting such a successful and powerful person, but the craziest thing was that he behaved absolutely down-to-earth and friendly. He told us about his plans and even arranged a 'hot lap' in the pace car for our German sponsor.
"All in all, Denver was a fantastic weekend - the race program, the events around the track and especially the warm and friendly atmosphere in the paddock is something I didn't expect on that kind of level. From now on, I have a new goal ahead of me - and I think there is a good chance for me [to be in Champ Car next year], although, first of all, I want to win the F3000 title."