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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]
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)
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)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Penske Truck Rental Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies fastest Friday, June 26, 2015, capturing the pole position for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 PPG Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies second-fastest Saturday, June 13, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies fastest Saturday, June 13, 2015 capturing the pole position for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Power will start in the front row with teammate Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates after qualifying fastest Saturday, June 13, 2015 capturing the pole position for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Power will start in the front row with teammate Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet V-6. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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