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Servia re-signs with Panther DRR for 2013
5 December 2012
Spain's Oriol Servia will return to the wheel of the Panther DRR #22 car in 2013, after signing a new year-long contract with the IZOD IndyCar Series team formerly known as Dreyer & Reinbold.
"We couldn't be happier to have the continuity of a second year with Oriol in the #22 car," said team co-owner Dennis Reinbold.
"I am very pleased to partner with DRR again in 2013," said Servia himself on Tuesday. "I am extremely excited to continue with DRR as I have found some of the best people I have ever worked within this sport, including our team partners whose support make this all happen."
Servia joined the team, then called Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, at the start of the 2012 season, but struggled in the early races of the year when the team was relying on Lotus engines.
A switch to Chevrolet power before the Indianapolis 500 also came with a partnership with Panther Racing, leading to the team being rechristened Panther DRR - and an immediate upturn in fortunes.
"We had several great on-track performances this past season, including our 4th place finish at the Indianapolis 500," said Servia, who also claimed top five finishes on the street courses of Detroit and Toronto and at the short oval of Milwaukee. Over the course of the season, Servia chalked up 107 passes on rival competitors, a series record in 2012.
"But we're not satisfied," he added. "Our goal is to win that race and contend week in and week out for wins and podiums at all races. Continuity is very important in our sport and now we'll be able to build upon our successes in a second year together."
Panther DRR's co-owner Robbie Buhl was also enthusiastic about the continuation of the team's partnership with the veteran racer, who was runner-up in the 1999 Indy Lights championship and in the 2005 Champ Car World Series, and achieved fourth place in the 2011 IndyCar Series.
"Hiring Oriol Servia to drive the #22 was a no brainer," said Buhl. "To be able to continue building on-track momentum and a strong working relationship between Oriol and our technical team was an opportunity we couldn't pass up.
"We believe Oriol gives us the best chance for us to win the Indianapolis 500 and compete for wins," Buhl added. "I'd like to personally thank Oriol, Chevy, our team partners and entire organisation for their commitment to our team."
For his part, Reinbold pointed out that the team was investing in getting new team personnel in place over the off-season.
"We're excited to see our ongoing increased investment in the technical and engineering areas of our team result in success within our off-season development program and on-track performance next year," he said.
Servia will be back in action with Panther DRR at next week's two-day test session at Sebring International Raceway scheduled for December 12-13, 2012.
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