Doornbos back to IndyCars? UPDATE #3 Robert Doornbos, the Dutch driver who spent the 2009 racing season in cars of the HVM and Newman/Haas/Lanigan teams, wrote on his Website this week that he’s trying to build an Indianapolis 500 deal with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.
Officials for Bobby Rahal’s team are hopeful of having an Indy program that continues with a few races later in the Izod IndyCar Series season, but general manager Scott Roembke said Doornbos is just one of several potential opportunities.
“Has Bobby Doornbos called? Yes, he has, but so has Oriol Servia, Jonathan Summerton, J.R. Hildebrand, (John) Edwards, Buddy Rice … hmm, I’m missing someone,” he said today.
Roembke reiterated Rahal’s comments earlier in the week that the team hopes to secure sponsorship on its own and then hire a driver.
Without detailing conversations with these drivers, Roembke said there are some who have ties to possible sponsors, but that doesn’t preclude them from being hired. He noted that Graham Rahal, who took Service Central to Chip Ganassi’s team, is that type of driver.
“You certainly wouldn’t call him a ride buyer,” Roembke said of the younger Rahal.02/01/11 Bobby Rahal is resigned to his race team having limited participation in the Izod IndyCar Series season for the third consecutive year. Rahal said today that due a lack of sponsorship he expects the team will be limited to competing in the Indianapolis 500.
“Maybe that and a couple of other races potentially,” he said. “Everything we’re doing is really focused on the BMW program (in the American Le Mans Series). With the IndyCar stuff, everything is focused on 2012 at this stage.”
“If some good things come up for Indy and a few races beyond, we’re ready to do them,” Rahal said. “It’s just a matter of getting the funding and doing it correctly.
“We don’t have any interest in going (to races) just to be there.”
“We want to be like we were last year: In a position to figure in the race,” he said. “We have the equipment and the people, it’s a matter of getting the right driver and the right sponsorship.”01/28/11 According to Dutch motorsport website autosport.nl, Robert Doornbos' management is in talks with Rahal Letterman Racing for the 2011 Indy 500.
01/24/11 This morning AR1.com sources informed us that the talks between Robert Doornbos and Mercedes (DTM) ceased last Thursday. From what we hear, Doornbos has only one option now, that's the Indy 500. He appears not to be interested in the Superleague Formula. IndyCar is difficult, but at this late stage of the game, he may be able to put together a deal for an Indy 500 ride.