With his hopes of remaining in Formula One for a second season fading fast, Justin Wilson has admitted that he would be willing to taste America's Champ Car World Series as a means of keeping his name in the frame for the future.

The lanky Briton started his debut season well with Minardi, but was not able to reproduce the necessary form at Jaguar to confirm his place on the grid for 2004, with Austrian hotshoe Christian Klien signing to partner Mark Webber and Minardi opting for better-funded drivers. With a recently-introduced rule preventing Wilson from even taking up a meaningful testing role with Jaguar next season, he is now hoping that his early-season promise will be good enough to land a seat in the USA.

Before the Minardi opportunity arose for 2003, the former FIA F3000 champion tested positively with crack Champ Car team Newman/Haas Racing, and could have joined the CART series had F1 not beckoned. Now Wilson is hoping that certain people's memories prove to be long.

"I hope the FIA will change the rules about testing," Wilson told Britain's Daily Express newspaper, "But right now we will have to look at the States, where I had an offer last year in Champ Cars."

Wilson experienced Champ Cars with Newman/Haas during a private test at Homestead in Miami, not long after Cristiano da Matta - now in F1 with Toyota, had clinched his CART title.

"I spent the [Miami race] weekend with the team and was impressed with their operation," Wilson reported at the time, "My test at Homestead went very well - the car was set-up for me when I arrived, and we didn't have to play around with too much. It was very much a progressive experience and I went quicker and quicker as the day passed. I was happy with my efforts. It was an enjoyable experience as these cars are all about putting the driver in control."

Wilson admitted that Formula One remained his goal for next season but that, with one seat remaining at Jordan - and the Silverstone team requiring a monied driver - he would more than likely be forced to look elsewhere.

 

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