Crash.Net IndyCar News
Oriol Servia moves to Dreyer & Reinbold
17 January 2012
Oriol Servia has landed a new seat for 2012, and will be driving for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in a full-time deal for the forthcoming IZOD IndyCar Series season.
"I couldn't be more excited, for many reasons," said Servia. "DRR is a team that I raced against since 2008 and they've always shown to be very professional at the racetrack ... When I visited the DRR facility in Indianapolis, I couldn't have been more impressed."
Servia had an impressive season last year, which saw him take 11 top-ten finishes on his way to finishing in fourth place in the championship. One of only three drivers to finish every one of the 17 races of the year, Servia also put his Newman/Haas car onto the front row of the starting grid for the centennial Indianapolis 500 and nearly won the New Hampshire Motor Speedway race when it ended in a controversial restart.
But Servia was rocked by the shock announcement last November that the iconic Newman/Haas team was pulling out of US open wheel racing because of the financial climate, a decision that appeared to leave him without a seat in 2012 despite his success.
Now his talent has been recognised by DRR, who see Servia as the key to making it to the next level in IndyCar competition at a critical transition time for the series, and for teams and drivers alike.
"With a new engine, new chassis and a revamped engineering department, we believe it is crucial to have a highly talented veteran driver to be able to develop these new components," said Dreyer & Reinbold Racing's co-owner Dennis Reinbold. "Oriol has always been a smart driver and has always put himself and his team in a position to win races."
"I think that Oriol can be a real asset to us and with the development with our partnership with Lotus and the DW12," agreed co-owner Robbie Buhl. "His experience throughout his career will be pivotal in how we develop the new car and new motor. He had a fantastic season last year with Newman/Haas and we are excited to have him as a part of our team going forward."
"We are starting with a new engine and chassis, and I have confidence in Lotus and our ability to develop a quality product in 2012," said Servia. "When you have everyone pulling in the same direction like we are now is when we can accomplish our goals."
Servia was also evidently delighted by his new bosses: "Although I knew the owners, I didn't know them very well, to be honest," he said. "Before signing with the team, like everybody else, I did my research and I couldn't find one individual that didn't speak highly of Dennis or Robbie, which gave me a lot of confidence."
Now Servia can put the uncertainty of the last two months behind him and look to the future.
"I'm at the best point in my career and it was very important to partner with the right team," he said. "I started on the front row for the Indianapolis 500 and I want to improve on that."
Last year Dreyer & Reinbold Racing fielded two cars in the series, for Justin Wilson and Ana Beatriz, but a second car was not included in the day's announcement. The team said only that "Dreyer & Reinbold Racing continues to work towards a second full-time entry for the 2012 season."
Former DRR driver Justin Wilson - who was sidelined for the last five races of 2011 because of a back injury sustained during pre-race practice at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course - is believed to be returning to Dale Coyne Racing, but there has not yet been an official announcement confirming his signing by the team.
Servia's 2011 Newman/Haas Racing team mate James Hinchcliffe has already landed the plum race seat in the Andretti Autosports Go Daddy-sponsored car, replacing Danica Patrick who has departed IndyCar for full-time NASCAR Nationwide Series competition in 2012.