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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]
The Chevrolet of Will Power sports a tribute sticker for Justin Wilson at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson speaks with Oriol Servia in pit lane (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson with a light moment prior to his qualification attempt for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson stands in Gasoline Alley at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the 2015 Indianapolis 500 (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson flashes across the start/finish line during the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, August 22, 2015 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson greets the fans during pre-race festivities for the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, August 22, 2015 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson straps on his helmet prior to the systems check for the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday August 23 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 PPG Finishes Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a third-place finish Sunday, August 2, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 PPG Finishes Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his third-place finish Sunday, August 2, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Podium celebrations for Graham Rahal and Justin Wilson after the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Podium celebrations for Graham Rahal, Justin Wilson and Simon Pagenaud after the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud waits outside his pit stand prior to practice for the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens 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)

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