1996 Champ Car champion Jimmy Vasser has made it very clear that he was not yet retiring from racing. Many times over the past five months, has stated he his career is not officially over. And now, the 40-year-old Las Vegas resident will make a one-off start in a third PKV Racing car at this year's Long Beach Grand Prix.
Vasser, one of the three PKV owners for the Champ Car World Series team, no longer has a fulltime seat after the pre-season announcements that rookie Katherine Legge and last year's series runner-up Oriol Servia would be the drivers of the Gulfstream and Bell Micro cars.
PKV Racing enters its fourth year in the series with another new driver lineup. Four drivers drove the then-PK Racing cars in 2003, with Vasser and Roberto Gonzalez driving in 2004 and Vasser pairing Cristiano da Matta last season.
This year's driver change should see improvement as the team looks be a fulltime championship contender, after winning their first race at Portland last season. In 2005 Vasser finished 6th in the final standings, winning a pole at the Milwaukee Mile and scoring consecutive podium finishes at Las Vegas and Surfer's Paradise. He has found a home with PKV Racing after driving for four other teams over the course of his 15-year career.
One of Vasser's business partners, Kevin Kalkhoven, left the door open for more potential entries during the course of the year. "I'm not so sure Long Beach will be his finale at all," Kalkhoven said. " I think there's every chance he could drive a third car at some more rounds, such as maybe San Jose and Road America. He's still got the fire burning; Jimmy could end up making more comebacks than Cher."