Despite seven victories and 27 podium finishes across a five-year span with his former squad at Team Penske, Ryan Briscoe remains rideless for the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series championship.
With Dragon Racing's second seat going to Colombia's Sebastian Saavedra -- an up-and-comer with just 19 IndyCar starts to his credit -- Briscoe's chances of staying on the circuit full-time would appear to be dwindling even further.
There's still some hope for the Australian, but it may be the last hope he's got. Honda-powered Dale Coyne Racing has yet to announce its driver roster for the No. 18 and 19 machines.
Everyone expects DCR regular and 2012 race winner Justin Wilson in one of them, so that leaves one spot left there. Wilson and Briscoe would make a mean duo, and if Honda backed them up with solid powerplants, DCR would be capable of punching above its weight once again.
Still, it's a bit of a surprise to see a driver of Briscoe's caliber still scrapping for a drive at this point in the off-season.
Actually, no. It's not. Just look at the last two drivers that have been hired full-time in IndyCar.
E.J. Viso (now with Andretti Autosport) and Saavedra have proven that they can race in IndyCar, but it's also true that they both have extensive sponsorship to help them out. No shame in that, obviously.
But do either one of them have the same resume that Briscoe carries? The answer is no. Once again, it all appears to come down to money.
I agree with you that a lack of sponsorship has contributed to Ryan Briscoe not securing an IndyCar ride for 2013. However, I believe a major factor has also been his record of only 7 victories and 27 podium finishes over a five-year period for, arguably, the best team in IndyCar racing. He has had some high points during that period but has also made some terrible errors in judgment. Prior to his win at Sonoma in 2012 I believe it had been close to 2 years since he had won a race. I have read of him being characterized as a "generic driver".