Indianapolis, IN (May 7, 2012)-
As Dreyer & Reinbold Racing heads into the month of May,
they will be embarking on a new chapter for the duration of the
year. The Indianapolis-based squad has united with two-time IndyCar
Series champion Panther Racing to form a strategic alliance on
Oriol Servia's entry for the remainder of the 2012 season. The No.
22 Panther/DRR team will utilize Panther's second Chevrolet engine
lease and work in conjunction with the No. 4 National Guard team
and driver JR Hildebrand beginning with this month's 96th Running
of the Indianapolis 500.
It was announced two weeks ago that Lotus and Dreyer &
Reinbold Racing reached an amicable resolution to end their
agreement. The two entities had entered into a contract back in
November for Lotus to be the team's engine supplier in the IZOD
IndyCar Series. Given the circumstances of the regulatory
requirement to supply multiple teams, the late timing of the Lotus'
entry and the unanticipated difficulties caused by the change of
ownership, Lotus made the decision to reduce the number of cars it
runs. As a result, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing ran the Lotus for
the last time in Brazil.
The two long-time IndyCar Series teams shared a technical
partnership at the end of the 2011 season and, effective
immediately, will expand that effort under the same roof at
Panther's headquarters in Indianapolis.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing owner, Dennis Reinbold, is
ready for the new alliance. "This is an unbelievable exciting
prospect for us," Reinbold said. "The timing of aligning with
Panther and putting this deal together is exceptional, especially
knowing Panther's history at the Indianapolis 500. We're really
looking forward to working together and moving forward as a two-car
team. We gave JR (Hildebrand) his start in IndyCar racing, so we'll
always have a soft spot in our hearts for him and to pair JR
alongside Oriol will allow them to feed off each other and continue
to get better throughout the year. We've always enjoyed our
associations with Panther in the past and we're looking forward to
a bright future together."
"We've wanted to operate as a two-car team for some time
now, but the right opportunity has never arisen to allow us to
accomplish that," Panther Managing Partner and CEO John Barnes
said. "But as soon as we had the opportunity to work with Dreyer
& Reinbold Racing and Oriol Servia, a guy I consider one of the
best all-around drivers in IndyCar, this was a no-brainer for us.
Dennis (Reinbold) and I have been friends for a long time, and
they've got a great group of guys on their team that we're very
excited to be working with. I know we're all looking forward to be
working under the same roof and expanding upon what we've both
built all these years in the IndyCar Series."
Feeling the same sentiment as Reinbold and Barnes is DRR
co-owner Robbie Buhl. "All of us are unbelievably excited about
this. We had a technical partnership with Panther last year and
this effectively is taking that to the next level," Buhl explained.
"We all feel very confident knowing that all the personalities
involved can work so well together and take both our teams to the
next level. From Oriol's standpoint, I know he's excited about
working with both Hildebrand and the entire technical team that
Panther has in place. The exchange of knowledge between two drivers
of their caliber is only going to drive those guys and that's the
fun part in challenging all of us to get better."
Servia, the former Champ Car World Series race winner,
finished fourth in the IndyCar Series championship last season with
Newman/Haas with 11 Top Ten finishes and runner-up finishes in New
Hampshire and Baltimore. In 2005 with Newman/Haas, Servia finished
runner-up in the championship, including a victory in Montréal and
seven podium finishes while filling in for an injured Bruno
"This is the best of both worlds - I'm already with a
great team, a great crew and great owners at Dreyer & Reinbold
and affiliating with Panther is perfect because I've sat down with
John Barnes many, many times to try and put a program together and
we've never been able to do it for one reason or another," Servia
explained. "I'm also looking forward to joining the Chevy family;
they've been performing so well and shown an unbelievable
commitment to win. Panther has such a great record at Indianapolis
and being a two-car team will only make us all stronger. JR did
such a great job there last year as a rookie and he's already doing
so much better this year. He's a great kid. I really like him and
I'm sure we're going to make a great team."
The union also puts Servia behind the wheel of a
Chevrolet-powered IndyCar for the first time in his career. General
Motors has powered all of Panther's 15 career IndyCar Series race
victories and both its championships in 2001 and 2002.
"We support the addition of a second Chevrolet IndyCar V-8
powered car to the Panther Racing team for the balance of the 2012
season," Chevrolet Racing IndyCar Program Manager Chris Berube
said. "Oriol Servia will be a welcome addition to the Chevy IndyCar
family and further expand the depth of talent we are fortunate to
have campaigning the legendary Bowtie."
Hildebrand, the 24-year-old Californian, earned a
runner-up finish and Rookie of the Year honors in last year's
Indianapolis 500 and is especially excited about reuniting with his
old team and being able to work with a teammate of Servia's caliber
on a full-time basis. He made two starts for Dreyer & Reinbold
in 2010 as a replacement for a then-injured Mike Conway before
landing the full-time National Guard ride with Panther in
"I'm really excited to work alongside Oriol, he's one of
those guys I'd put on my top three list of drivers I'd like to have
as teammates," JR said. "Dreyer & Reinbold has some good people
over there and after making my IndyCar debut with them I know how
great an addition this will be to what we've got going at Panther.
It's great to be joining forces with those guys and this is the
next step towards being a contender at the front of the IndyCar
field on a consistent basis. This is going to be nothing but a huge
gain for all of us."
The two teammates also share a unique engineering
background; Servia graduated with a mechanical engineering degree
from Polytechnic University of Catalonia and Hildebrand was
accepted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the
same field before having his acceptance deferred to pursue his
Both Panther and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing head into
the month of May on a strong note. Hildebrand earned a top-10
finish of seventh place in Brazil and Servia came from 23rd to
finish 11th. The duo currently sits 7th and 16th in the
championship standings respectively. For more updates on both
teams, please visit www.dreyerreinboldracing.com