What really happened with Briscoe

To everyone's surprise in the off-season, Australian Ryan Briscoe turned down an offer to drive for the Team Australia Champ Car team – Walker Racing but with Australian Craig Gore more or less leasing the team and running it as Team Australia. Gore is responsible for the commercial deals.

Everyone, including us, thought that Briscoe must be off his rocker not to accept the offer after disastrous seasons with Toyota F1 (test driver) and in the IRL with Ganassi Racing. Then when PKV Racing did not pick him up for 2006, Briscoe made a negative comment about PKV Racing that he was notified so late there were no more rides left. As is usually the case, there's more to the story……

According to talk in the Champ Car paddock, Briscoe was assured of the PKV drive until Craig Gore got wind of it. Gore supposedly petitioned PKV boss Kevin Kalkhoven that any Aussie racing in Champ Car would need to be in the Team Australia car, otherwise it would effect his sponsorship ability in Oz. Gore wanted two Australians and that is why veteran Alex Tagliani was rumored to be out of a ride. Gore even threatened to close the team if Kalkhoven signed Briscoe. He apparently figured Briscoe would have to drive for him… Supposedly Briscoe is the best open wheel driver from Oz other than Webber and no one thought he would just sit out the season. So… Kalkhoven finally gave in.

But Briscoe said no way to Team Australia because it was very much a personal thing. If the rumors are to be believed, Briscoe didn't feel Gore had his best interests in mind and was not happy with all the politics going on behind the scenes.

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