Statement from Darren Manning 27 July 2005 "It was a real shock when I discovered that I was surplus to requirements at TCGR -- it was a dream come true to be chosen as a driver for one of the top teams in American motor racing, and I have ...
Statement from Darren Manning
27 July 2005
"It was a real shock when I discovered that I was surplus to requirements at TCGR -- it was a dream come true to be chosen as a driver for one of the top teams in American motor racing, and I have enjoyed my time here, and scored some good results in the past eighteen months.
It's really disappointing, but I've been in a lot worse situations than this. Chip hasn't cut my legs off; he hasn't shot me. I'm still breathing, so everything will be all right. This isn't but a dent in my ambition at all. It might even make things better.
I learned of the decision Tuesday morning during what I expected to be a routine meeting with team director Mike Hull. Ganassi had told Mike moments before by phone that I would not be with the team this weekend at Michigan and that the team would not pick up the option on my contract for 2006.
The weekend at Milwaukee started well, and I was a comfortable 4th quickest on Friday. However, after Ryan crashed heavily on Saturday, both Scott Dixon and myself were under pressure to preserve the team equipment!
It was difficult in these conditions to push to the limit in qualifying and similarly in the race, with the tricky hot conditions meaning my car was very loose, I just didn't want to risk another shunt for the team.
I've got to move on in my career now and get back to something good. I'll only take a top-level drive. I don't need to take a low-level drive that I'm unable to win in. Maybe this is good for me. It might be the best thing that's ever happened to me. I don't wish anybody any harm or malice over it.
I have received fantastic support from the fans and I can guarantee that I'll be back soon-- racing to win as always!"