Ryan Briscoe is reportedly on the verge of making a full-time comeback to the IndyCar Series with Panther Racing, if the team is able to secure sufficient backing to run the Australian.
After losing his full-time drive with Team Penske at the end of the 2012 season, Briscoe has spent 2013 splitting his time between the American Le Mans Series, as well as making occasional IndyCar outings and guest appearances as a co-driver in the V8 Supercars Championship.
Six of the 32-year-old’s IndyCar outings this year have been behind the wheel of the #4 National Guard Panther Racing entry, with he and Oriol Servia have sharing driving duties following the team’s decision to sack JR Hildebrand after the Indianapolis 500.
His lack of continued open-wheel driving perhaps showed this year, with the Australian’s best finish for Panther Racing coming at Detroit, where he placed thirteenth in the event’s second race. A fractured wrist at the Grand Prix of Toronto also impacted his season, but Panther Racing is expected to announce the signing of the former racewinner in the coming weeks.
“It’s complicated, but I’m hoping to be able to finalise my IndyCar deal for next year pretty soon, hopefully in the next couple of weeks,” Briscoe said after last weekend’s ArmorAll Gold Coast 600 round of the V8 Supercars Championship, where he closed out his co-driver duties alongside series regular Russell Ingall with a podium in the event’s second race.
Part of Briscoe’s comments lie with the departure of Panther Racing’s title sponsor, National Guard, which has confirmed it will move its sponsorship investment to the Rahal Letterman Lanigan stable ahead of the 2014 IndyCar season.