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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]
Simon Pagenaud and Tony Kanaan enter Turn 7 during practice for Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan on course during practice for Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan apexes Turn 7 during practice for Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan apexes Turn 7 during practice for Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan sets up for Turn 7 during practice for Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Oriol Servia accident during the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Mike Young for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, and his team perform the traditional kissing of the bricks after racing to victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, drinks the traditional bottle of milk while celebrating his victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Scott R. LePage/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, crosses the finish line as he races to victory Sunday, May 24, 2015, winning the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Montoya went from near-last to first, winning the Indy 500 for the second time in his career. Will Power (left), driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, finishes second. Chevrolet powered the top four cars in the race. (Photo by Andy Frame/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya in Victory Circle after the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya wins the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Penske team mates Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power race side-by-wide during the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe during practice prior to Qualifying for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race (Photo by: Leigh Spargur)
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)

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