So Tony Kanaan takes over Dario Franchitti’s Target ride next year while Ryan Briscoe moves into the car TK was signed to drive. Yay.
This is such an incredibly underwhelming hire. Sure, Briscoe is a seasoned driver and proven winner. He’s a championship contender, and has more races in the last four or five years than all but a handful of drivers, but yeah, I am underwhelmed with this hire. Briscoe is a non-factor when it comes to personality and has limited media appeal.
I’m sure he’s a great guy, with a great personality behind closed doors who is great with kids and sponsors, but he’s already tapped out as far as superstar potential goes. He’s one of those guys casual fans, and sports writers, see wins the Indy 500 and goes “Who?” and doesn’t care to find out why. While I’m sure he’s going to win races for Chip Ganassi he’s not going to win any headlines.
The media, and fans, respond to story lines, Briscoe doesn’t really have one. He’s a nice guy who has managed to bounce back and forth between the two most coveted drives in Indycar despite only making one title run in the six years he’s been at the pinnacle of American open wheel teams. Given his equipment, I think it’s fair to say he’s under-performed.
That said, Briscoe is a fairly quiet, non-headline grabbing guy that quietly goes about his business. It a great thing for a team owner, not so great for that series. The No. 10 Target car is essentially a star maker. It’s one of the best seats in all of auto sport and whoever is in the driver’s seat will be a championship contender, and lord knows Tony Kanaan deserves it. What about the 8 car though? When you consider all the other drivers who are out there, notably promising Americans Sage Karam, J.R. Hildebrand, Conor Daly and Formula One talent like Paul de Resta, who have the possibility to have turned into fresh-faced media stars it’s just underwhelming to see Briscoe in that seat.
Yay, for Ryan.