The official start of silly season happened this week as Doornbos has taken his father’s checkbook to HVM. If you recall, it was pretty widely reported at the beginning of the season that Robert had secured a 12 race deal with NHL.
Lets be honest though, NHL is one of the most likely candidates to end up as one of the top teams in coming seasons, and certainly the move to HVM is slightly south of lateral. It appears that there was some pretty bad blood at the team as Graham Rahal, his teammate, was quoted in the Columbus Dispatch as saying “I don’t know what his deal is, but I’ve got to be brutally honest, I just don’t care.” Rahal also made comments against Roberts ability to work as a team player.
Doornbos stated that he was exercising a clause in his contract to end his relationship with NHL, but the reality is probably that NHL was fed up with him and chose not to allow him to write another check for the remainder of the season.
Oriol Servia has been tapped for this weekend’s race at Mid-Ohio to replace Robert. This is a fantastic move by the team. Oriol has proven his capabilities by finishing last year as the highest placed driver for a CCWS refugee team with KV Racing. He further had a good run with Rahal Letterman at Indy before bowing out with mechanical failure.
But the fact that Servia was only signed for a one race deal has made for much rumination and speculation by fans of a certain Sebastain Bourdais who no longer drives for STR in Formula 1. While the chances of Bourdais ending up back in US open wheel racing are reportedly pretty remote, us fans can hold out hope that Bourdais gets a full time seat in IndyCar before Paul Tracy, just so we can see the fireworks when somebody works up enough courage to tell PT about it.