When the music stops…..

UPDATE #2 In a press release OCESA in Mexico stated that Mario Dominguez, Rodolfo Lavin and Roberto Gonzalo all have Champ Car rides for 2005 and that it is just a matter of the teams making an official announcement. 03/30/05 Reports from our sources in The Netherlands now tell us that indeed Jos Verstappen is talking to Forsythe Racing about a possible seat in Forsythe's third car. There are a lot of people pushing for Verstappen getting a Champ Car ride given his huge popularity. It's also not lost on anyone that Verstappen was third quick at Sebring last week on the first time ever in a Champ Car and on the Sebring track in conditions that were less than ideal (high winds, off and on showers and a dirty track.). A team of Tracy, Dominguez and Verstappen would be a powerhouse to be reckoned with. 03/30/05 The remaining seats at Champ Car are going fast, and when the music stops, who will be left without a ride? As always, money is King. We hear the following drivers have this much money:
Rodolfo Lavin has $2.5M from Corona
Roberto Gonzalez has $2.0M, part from Tecate perhaps
Jos Verstappen has $1.0M
Ronnie Bremer has around $1.0M
Michael Valiante has <$0.5M
Oriol Servia has almost none.

You know the seats available (HVM 1 assuming Wirdheim is signed), Coyne (2) and Jensen (1). Speculating, we could see Gonzalez at HVM with Tecate (the cars are already painted with the colors of Tecate), and Lavin at Coyne. Jensen isn't necessarily looking for the biggest checkbook so Valiante still has a chance, but would he go with a more experienced driver like Verstappen or Servia? Given Verstappen's huge fan base, Champ Car would be wise to run him in Forsythe's third car as an investment in their future, but that will cost them money and we're not sure having a big fan following of the series is important enough to them.

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