Enge eyes IRL

UPDATE #2 Tomas Enge was confirmed Monday as the second driver in Panther Racing's Indy Racing League program for the 2005 season. He joins returnee Tomas Scheckter. Enge, a 28-year-old driver from the Czech Republic, has finished in the top four of the international F3000 series three times in the past four years. He started two Indy-car races in 2004 for Patrick Racing, which is not expected to participate in the IRL this season. Indy Star 01/17/05 Rumor has it that on Tuesday Panther Racing will announce Czech driver Tomas Enge as a teammate to Tomas Scheckter to make it a pair of foreign Tomas’s in this the only American powered (Chevy)team for 2005. Tell those short trackers to burn those 'Road to Indy' hats, they're meaningless. 11/24/04 Speaking to Crash.net at Donington Park where he was helping Prodrive test the new Aston Martin DBR9 Le Mans challenger, Tomas Enge said he would be thrilled to race the Sportscar if possible, but it would have to run alongside his main program – with talks ongoing with Patrick Racing about a drive in the IRL for 2005.

“Show me anyone who would not like to drive for this team and drive this car!" he said after a day of testing. “It all depends on what my main program is for next season. My focus is on single seaters, either in IRL, Champ Cars or maybe elsewhere. It's too early to say anything for certain.

“I'm still a road course racer and the IRL has about 14 or 15 ovals and three road courses which isn't really enough. [The ovals] are a completely different type of racing and you need half a year of experience to find out what it is all about. It wasn't easy, I did two tests before the first race this season and it was difficult for me to feel the car, it was difficult to get in the groove. It was generally not bad, it was hard but it wasn't bad. I'd say I need at least another half a year to find out what it is all about.

“I'd say the chance of the IRL and Champ Cars is about the same. We are in really good talks with Chevrolet and Patrick Racing who I drove for this season in those two races so it's looking very positive but we still have time to decide and I wouldn't say that either has an advantage over the other."

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