Robert Doornbos should finally be able to reveal his programme for the coming season today [17 February], with the IndyCar Series still the expected destination for the Dutchman.
Amid rumour and counter-rumour - all denied by sources close to the former F1 pilot - a berth at Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing has emerged as his most likely destination, but the speculation surrounding the source of Doornbos' backing took another twist this week when it was announced that Dutch finance house ING would be withdrawing its support of the Renault F1 team at the end of 2009.
The same company had been widely touted as the backer Doornbos would be taking to secure his seat at NHLR, but it has now been confirmed that ING never
had any part to play in his search for a return to the US open-wheel scene.
"There were some speculative rumours about Robert and IndyCar - in fact, we've been questioned about our supposed involvement in every team, every driver and every form of motorsport at some point or another," an ING spokesman told Crash.net
"I can confirm that ING has no involvement with Robert, or any plans to enter IndyCar, although ING has previously used Robert for some demonstration drives at the Rotterdam City event during '07 and '08."
The driver's official website has given 17 February as the date for an announcement regarding his future, and reports that he has been to the United States for 'medical and physical tests' as he edges 'a little closer to a seat in an IndyCar Series top team'.
NHLR remains the favoured destination for Doornbos, where he would likely line up alongside retained 2008 pilot Graham Rahal and monied Venezuelan Milka Duno, although the Dutchman did begin his search for a seat by returning to the HVM squad that ran him under the Minardi Team USA banner in the final year of Champ Car.