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Panther/DRR deal lands Servia in a Chevy

A deal between Panther Racing and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing means that Oriol Servia will be competing for the rest of 2012 in a Chevrolet-powered car.
A strategic alliance between Panther Racing and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing means that Panther gets a two-car line-up for 2012, and DRR lands a Chevrolet engine for its driver Oriol Servia.

DRR terminated its engine supply arrangement with Lotus at the end of last month, but then had to find a replacement from one of the other engine suppliers to the IZOD IndyCar Series - either Honda or Chevrolet.

Panther Racing meanwhile has been trying to expand its single-car line-up consisting of the 2011 Indianapolis 500 runner-up JR Hildebrand into a two-car team, and already had an unused second engine deal with General Motors waiting to be activated.

Finally, just five days ahead of this year's Indy 500, the two halves of the puzzle came together with confirmation from both teams of a deal between the two that will see Oriol Servia take the wheel of the #22 Panther/DRR-Chevrolet car on Saturday and for the rest of the 2012 season.

"The timing of aligning with Panther and putting this deal together is exceptional," said DRR co-owner Dennis Reinbold. "We're really looking forward to working together and moving forward as a two-car team."

"We've wanted to operate as a two-car team for some time now, but the right opportunity has never arisen to allow us to accomplish that," said John Barnes, Panther Managing Partner and CEO. "But as soon as we had the opportunity to work with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and Oriol Servia, a guy I consider one of the best all-around drivers in IndyCar, this was a no-brainer for us."

The two teams already have a great deal of common ground heading into the new arrangement.

"We gave JR his start in IndyCar racing, so we'll always have a soft spot in our hearts for him and to pair JR alongside Oriol will allow them to feed off each other and continue to get better throughout the year," pointed out Reinbold.

"Dennis and I have been friends for a long time, and they've got a great group of guys on their team that we're very excited to be working with," added Barnes. "I know we're all looking forward to be working under the same roof and expanding upon what we've both built all these years in the IndyCar Series."

From the drivers' point of view, Oriol Servia was certainly happy with the new arrangement - and presumably relieved to have an engine for his Indy 500 bid.




Related Pictures

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JR Hildebrand prepares the National Guard car for its qualifying run at Iowa Speedway. [Photo credit: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media]
Dennis Reinbold at a press conference at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. [Picture credit: IndyCar Media]
Oriol Servia during practice 2 at the final visit to Motegi by IndyCar. [Picture credit: Brian Simpson for IndyCar Media]
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Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet IndyCar V6, makes a quick pit stop while racing to victory Saturday, August 30, 2014 during the last Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. This is the third consecutive win for Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway. Chevrolet wins the Manufacturer`s Championship for the third straight season. (Photo by Brian Cleary/LAT for Chevy Racing)
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Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship by hoisting the Astor Challenge Cup Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
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Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship with his wife Liz Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
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Will Power celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship title (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
The start of the MAVTV 500 (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
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Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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