Rumours that Justin Wilson is a driver of choice for the Newman/Haas/Lanigan (N/H/L) Champ Car team next year have been given a bit of a boost recently – courtesy of Sebastien Bourdais’ race engineer.
Craig Hampson has been talking approvingly about the possibility of Wilson driving for N/H/L next year. Wilson currently drives for RuSPORT but the team is due to close down on November 15, according to owner Dan Pettit, which means Wilson is looking for a drive.
It’s a neat coincidence that N/H/L will be looking for a driver after 2007 championship winner and Champ Car star Sebastien Bourdais signed for the Toro Rosso F1 team, leaving the driveless Wilson the obvious candidate to replace him.
The fact that Wilson is in contention to be the series runner-up with a single race to go only makes the pairing a neater fit.
Hampson told Autosport “It’s not for me to speak for Mr Haas, but what I will say is that I’m sure Justin is going to be on his list of potential candidates.
“Justin was on our original shortlist to test when we picked Sebastien, but he went for the Minardi Formula One deal. What I’m saying is, we considered him then, and he’s now got four years’ experience in a Champ Car to add to that. He’s a great driver.”
Wilson has also made approving noises – describing N/H/L as “where any driver would want to be” and saying that, in lieu of a series win, Champ Car represents “unfinished business” for him.
But he has mentioned interest from other series and there have been persistent rumours linking him with Andretti Green Racing too.
For the moment he’s likely to be concentrating on getting to the end of the racing season. Then it will be interesting to see what the off-season brings.