Mike Conway celebrated his first LMP1 victory as part of the Toyota Racing team last weekend in Bahrain, was just tabbed by the Japanese marque to drive in the WEC season finale at Brazil, and could arrive in Sao Paulo with a newly signed contract in hand.
The 31-year-old Englishman also has two Verizon IndyCar Series wins to his credit this season. Sharing the No. 20 Chevy with team owner/driver Ed Carpenter, Conway contested all 12 road and street courses, winning at Long Beach and Toronto while Carpenter tool over the controls on the ovals.
Splitting time between IndyCar and the WEC was possible for Conway due to friendly calendars for both series, and as a winner for his respective employers, the race is on to retain his services in 2015.
“It’s hard to answer (where he’ll sign) right now; I’m still waiting on some things to get a full answer on what I’m doing,” he told RACER. “I’ve got to wait a few days to find out.”
Carpenter wants Conway back, and it’s believed Toyota is heavily interested in making him a full-time driver.
“I love IndyCar, I love everything I’ve done with Ed Carpenter Racing, and I also love LMP1 with Toyota. Getting to do the road courses and street courses with Ed this year turned out amazingly; we both won races and I think surprised a lot of people,” he said.
“I love living in the States; that’s where I’ve been the past five years. And I love the Le Mans 24 Hours and what I might be able to do there and elsewhere in the WEC, so it’s hard to make a clear-cut decision.”
Where Conway has been able to enjoy the best of both worlds this season, he might need to choose one series next year.
“I’ve got equal love for both, I know it will be hard to do both because the schedules don’t really line up like they did this year,” he explained. “That clearly made it easy to race Indy cars and sports cars, but that might not be the case anymore.
“There’s a certain date I have to wait for to know which direction I’ll go, and it’s great to be in this position of having multiple offers to choose from. It was only a few years ago where I was wondering if I was done when I didn’t want to do ovals – if I’d have to go get a real job.”
And what line of work would he choose outside of racing?
“Well, I did see that movie ‘Magic Mike’ and that gave me some ideas…I’d like to think I’ve got the body for it…” he said with a laugh.
Thankfully, it appears “Magic Mike” Conway will continue as a paid racing driver next year in IndyCar or the WEC, and with his win at Bahrain, Toyota could be ready to take him off the market by the end of the week.