One of IndyCar’s notable free agents has emerged from a rather quiet period and has started weighing his options for 2014.
Venezuela’s E.J. Viso spent the 2013 season with Andretti Autosport, recording his best championship finish (15th) in six seasons of IndyCar Series competition, earning a front row start at Brazil and best finish of fourth at Milwaukee, but had his season cut short, missing the season finale at Fontana due to what he described as a stomach virus.
Viso (along with Formula 1 racer Pastor Maldonado and a few other Venezuelan drivers/riders) was mentioned in a currency exchange forgery scandal that took place within the Venezuelan travel ministry where higher-profile racers had their names forged on reimbursement forms, and the responsible drivers/riders have since been detained by the government. Viso, like Maldonado, says he has been cleared of any improprieties and is busy getting ready for next season.
“Unfortunately, our names were incorrectly brought into this, but my name has been cleared and everything is back to normal,” he told RACER. “So now I’m putting all my energy on what I’m doing next year.”
The door is open for Viso to drive a fifth entry for Andretti Autosport in 2014, and talks with a few other teams have also taken place.
“The budget I need is higher than my sponsors can help with right now, but I would still like to drive with the team because I like them very much and they do a very good job,” he added. “But everybody is hurting for budgets right now, so that makes everything very hard for drivers and for teams to do business. So that means you have to talk to different teams to see if you can work together to make something happen IndyCar has become very expensive for everyone.
“As a plan B, I’m also thinking about sports cars in case IndyCar doesn’t click. I did sports car racing the last couple of years, and won the [12 Hours of] Sebring (in a PC car in 2012) and also raced at the Daytona 24 Hours and really loved it a lot. Ideally, I’d like to do IndyCar and sports cars. There’s also some business things I’m looking at in racing. I don’t like to stand still, so I’m trying very hard to make things happen in many areas.”