Bourdais joins race for vacant STR seats

Tue, 12 December 2006, 03:17

Toro Rosso announced late on Monday that triple and reigning Champ Car champion Sebastian Bourdais will test for Scuderia Toro Rosso this week at Jerez, in Spain.

The surprise news coincided with team co-owner Gerhard Berger’s admission that the race lineup of Vitantonio Liuzzi and Scott Speed is not guaranteed for 2007.

27-year-old Bourdais, a Frenchman, said recently that time was running out for him to make the switch to the pinnacle of motor sport. He also said he would not trade in his plum ride in the American open-wheeler scene for a mere formula one test seat.

A Toro Rosso statement explained: “His test with (Toro Rosso) has been endorsed by the Newman Haas team with whom Bourdais wants to defend his Champ Car title in 2007.”

‘Speed TV’, however, says Berger has admitted that Speed and Liuzzi face competition for the seats in 2007, particularly by drivers who can deliver a budget to the sister Red Bull squad.

Alongside Bourdais, Narain Karthikeyan, Tiago Monteiro and Robert Doornbos are believed to be in the frame.

“They are all possibilities, and some more,” Austrian Berger said.

“If you have two (drivers) on the same level, and one has a budget in the back, it’s better.”

Bourdais won the F3000 title in 2002.


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