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Pagenaud replaces Beatriz at Barber

Simon Pagenaud is to sub for Ana Beatriz, who is recovering from injuries sustained in a collision resulting from the controversial double-file restarts at the season opener at St Pete.
Simon Pagenaud will make his IndyCar series debut this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park, filling in for the injured Ana Beatriz.

At the first restart at the crash-studded season opener at St Petersburg two weeks ago, Beatriz was injured during the first of the controversial double-file restarts when she collided front and back with first Graham Rahal and then Danica Patrick.

As a result Beatriz was subsequently diagnosed with a fractured scaphoid bone (wrist) because of the violent motion of the steering wheel resulting from the impact. "I could feel that my hand was sore and as the race went on it started to bother me more," Beatriz said afterwards. "I was just focused and determined on finishing the race ... I was able to finish the race and I got some good experience under my belt.

"It wasn't until after the race that I realized that something was actually broken. I was pretty upset, but the team and the league have been great. I'm putting a lot of effort in being ready for Long Beach."

"We wanted to put [Beatriz] in the car for this race, but it's more important that she heals properly and has a quick recovery," said team co-owner Dennis Reinbold. "While she recovers we are happy that Simon can fill in for her this weekend."

After it was confirmed that she would not be fit enough to take the start at this week's Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing decided to offer the seat in the #24 to reigning American Le Mans Series champion and former Champ Car driver Simon Pagenaud.

"I'm fortunate to have the opportunity to drive [Beatriz'] #24 IndyCar this weekend," Pagenaud said. "It's an awkward situation and not the best for a driver to race in circumstances like this, but I wish her the best and hope she has a very quick recovery."

The 26-year-old Frenchman competed in Champ Car in 2007 alongside Will Power in Derrick Walker's Team Australia team, before switching to ALMS in 2008 with de Ferran Motorsports for two years. He then switched to the PatrĂ³n Highcroft team to win the LMP1 title in 2010 with co-driver David Brabham: Pagenaud, Brabham and Marino Franchitti finished second in the 12 Hours of Sebring three weeks ago in Highcroft's Honda Performance Development ARX-01e entry.



Related Pictures

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Will Power chats with his race engineer in the Team Penske pit stand following practice for the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
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Will Power and Takuma Sato crash out during the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power crashes out during the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud affixes the Verizon P1 Award emblem after winning the pole for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud gets ready for his qualifying run during qualifications for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud with a selfie with girlfriend Hailey after winning the pole for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud with the Verizon P1 Award Green Flag after winning the pole for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud celebrates after winning the pole for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud accepts the Verizon P1 Award after winning the pole for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud affixes the Verizon P1 Award emblem after winning the pole for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud on course during qualifications for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud on pit lane prior to qualifications for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud and Ryan Hunter-Reay go side-by-side during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Penske Truck Rental Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates capturing the pole position during qualifying Friday, June 26, 2015, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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