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Briscoe hunting 2005 race seat 12 Aug 2004

Ryan Briscoe (AUS) Toyota Test driver.
Australian Grand Prix Preparations, Rd 1, Albert Park, Australia, 3 March 2004

Toyota’s Ryan Briscoe is hoping that his outings as the Japanese team’s third driver in the remaining races of 2004 will help win him a race seat for next season, even if it isn’t with the big-budget squad.

Australian Briscoe, from Drummoyne in Sydney, has run thousands of miles in private testing for Toyota, but Friday practice at the Hungaroring will be his Grand Prix debut and the 22 year-old is hoping it will serve as a further showcase for his talents, which he feels are not always clear to those outside the team.

“Really, on the outside, people rarely can see exactly what’s going on, what sort of tyres you’re using, what fuel loads, the different parts we try,” Briscoe said. “The only people who really know what the performance should be are the people on the inside.

“There have been times when I can see that I’ve got the good tyres on my car and stuff to do well. That’s a time when you need to go out and do a quick lap time and try to impress the people on the outside, but apart from that it’s always about performing well with whatever car you’ve got and just trying to make a good impression inside the team. Whenever I’ve been on a par with the other drivers in the team I’ve been as quick as, or quicker, than them.”

Now Briscoe, who has a long-term contract with Toyota, wants to prove he can race as well as test at Formula One level and is hoping to secure a drive with the likes of Minardi or Jordan for next season. Such a move will, of course, require financial backing, something Briscoe and his manager Max Angelelli are currently working on.

“I don’t know whether it would be Jordan or Minardi or whoever. It has to be some team that doesn’t have any conflict with Toyota,” said Briscoe. “They (Toyota) have sort of put it down to me and my manager to find the money and we’re just trying to work something out at the moment.

“It’s not easy, but definitely that’s what I would like to be doing next year. It would be perfect for me to get race experience with one of the smaller teams. I’m not the only one out there waiting to get in. But, definitely, with all this shuffling (of drivers for 2005) you never know what could happen.”

Briscoe has already raced against some of the current Formula One drivers. Fernando Alonso was one of his karting contemporaries and last year he beat Jaguar’s Christian Klien and Jordan’s third driver Timo Glock on his way to the European Formula Three Championship.