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Giorgio Pantano to fill in for Justin Wilson

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing have signed up Italian former F1 driver Giorgio Pantano to drive for them at the Infineon Raceway road course and on the streets of Baltimore.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing have signed up former F1 driver Giorgio Pantano to drive the #22 car in place of the injured Justin Wilson for two of the remaining races of the 2011 season.

Pantano will drive for the team in the Indy Grand prix of Sonoma in California at the Infineon Raceway on August 28, and then a week later will join the IndyCar field a second time, for the maiden Baltimore Grand Prix on the streets of the Maryland city.

"We are extremely excited about putting Giorgio in our car at Sonoma and Baltimore," said Dreyer & Reinbold Racing co-owner, Dennis Reinbold. "Giorgio has a lot of experience and talent and we believe he will be a good fit ... He will add another dimension to our program and we are happy to have him on board for those events."

While it will be Pantano's IndyCar Series d├ębut, he appeared in the predecessor Indy Racing League championship with Chip Ganassi Racing for two road course outings in 2005, finishing fourth in the race at Watkins Glen International.

Pantano had a frustrating season in F1 with Jordan-Ford in 2004, having previously come up through the ranks in International Formula 3000. Subsequently he became best known for four seasons of competition in the GP2 feeder series, where he won the championship in 2008 and held the record for most races competed and most races won in the series. He raced in Superleague Formula in 2009 and spent 2010 in AutoGP racing.

"For me, this is a very good opportunity," said the 32-year-old native of Padua, Italy. "I want to say thank you to Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and the sponsors for giving me this opportunity. I'm here to do the best that I can as always and I look forward to the chance to compete."

The team said that they would be giving Pantano some test time in the car ahead of the race, with a session this weekend at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California.

The team added that no decisions had been made on who would drive the #22 for the remainder of the 2011 season, which includes a third road race at Motegi in Japan on September 17, and two oval courses at Kentucky and Las Vegas in October.

So far, French driver Simon Pagenaud stood in for Wilson with 90 minutes notice at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, while the team turned to South African Tomas Scheckter to race for them on the one mile oval at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.




Related Pictures

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Giorgio Pantano (ITA, Racing Engineering) receives the 2008 GP2 championship trophy. [Photo credit: Andrew Ferraro/GP2 Series Media Service.]
Giorgio Pantano when competing in two road races for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2005. [Photo credit: IndyCar Media]
Justin Wilson at the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Eric Anderson for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson resplendent in the Rolling Stones livery for the #25 Andretti Autosport Honda in pit lane on Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Friday May 22 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson resplendent in the Rolling Stones livery for the #25 Andretti Autosport Honda on track on Carb Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Friday May 22 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies third fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start on the outside of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Pagenaud will be joined in the front row by by polestar Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest for the May 24 race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies second-fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, and will start in the middle of the front row for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Power will be joined in the front row by pole sitter Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates after qualifying fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, winning the pole for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dixon will be joined in the front row by Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest, and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies fastest Sunday, May 17, 2015, winning the pole for the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dixon will be joined in the front row by Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who qualified second fastest, and Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet  who qualified third for the May 24 race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud on track in the Penske #22 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during practice on Friday May 15 2015. (Photo by: Mike Harding for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud waits in the Penske #22 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during practice on Friday May 15 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud climbs into the Penske #22 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during practice on Friday May 15 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud heads back out on track  at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during practice on Friday May 15 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud heads back out on track  at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during practice on Friday May 15 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud in pit lane at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during practice on Thursday May 14 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud prepares at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during practice on Thursday May 14 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud prepares at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during practice on Thursday May 14 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud leads Will Power at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during practice on Thursday May 14 2015. (Photo by: Mike Harding for IndyCar Media)

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