When you begin to examine Champ Car's
driver lineup closely for 2005 it becomes clear that the pool of talent in the
series from the top of the grid to the back is as good, if not better, than any
time in the history of the series. It's certainly better than the last two years.
Champ Car has had "bigger name"
lineups in its heyday, and had some not-so-good drivers in its heyday as well. I would
debate anyone as to whether the overall talent was as good or better than in 2005.
I have long maintained that Champ Car can't build "heroes" out of wankers, so to
see the '05 lineup coming together the way it has is frankly quite exciting and
should make for great racing in 2005 and set the stage for an even better 2006.
Let's break down the 2005 driver
lineup based on what we know today. I took a stab at some of the drivers.
Things can change of course up until the time all the teams announce their
drivers. Besides the drivers listed below, there are a number of other
drivers who could end up with a ride, all of whom are fast. Guys like
Michael Valiante and Tarso Marques for example.
Champ Car desperately needs more teams
so drivers from Korea, China and Japan have a place to drive. If Champ Car
is eyeing these markets, they will fail without something for the locals to root
Any one of these men can win in 2005
Are they fast?
Defending Champ Car champion. Former F3000 Champion.
This guy is fast. Period.
This former F3000 champion has won many poles and races.
Can he win it all in 2005?
AJ has won in everything he's raced. RuSPORT has made
significant gains. He will win in 2005.
Justin Wilson is also a former F3000 Champion. He's
very fast and he will win races in 2005.
Cristiano da Matta
Former Champ Car champion is back and helping to turn PKV
into a winner. Watch out for Shorty.
Former CART champion has won many Champ Car races. If
his car is fast he's right there.
Former Champ Car champ is a proven winner and has been fast
all his career. He can still bring it.
Wirdheim dominated in F3000. If he has Forsythe equipment
this F3000 Champ will light them up.
Has won twice in Champ Car and led every lap at Milwaukee
in 2004. He can pedal a car.
This guy has impressed the Champ Car paddock with his
immediate speed. Been in F1.
Dominguez has two Champ Car wins and just needs the right
equipment to prove himself.
If Jos can put this deal together he may prove that his
flashes of brilliance in F1 were no fluke.
Philippe is still a bit of a question mark. He's very
young and showing improvement, needs experience.
Was brilliant in Formula Renault (and before that) and was
fast as a rookie in Atlantics.
Won at Road America in 2004. Always fast but can be
inconsistent. Will a new team help?
If Marshall puts this deal together, this proven winner in
Australia might surprise a few people
Dale Coyne Racing
Servia is fast and did a yeoman's job last year for Coyne.
If he returns he will just get better.
Gaston is still a big unknown. Has not shown any
signs of brilliance yet but needs more seat time.
Will Eric Jensen give fellow Canadian Michael Valiante the
big break he has been waiting for?
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