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Dale Coyne turns to Mike Conway for Detroit

29 May 2013

Dale Coyne Racing is to pair Britain's Mike Conway alongside his compatriot Justin Wilson for this weekend's Detroit double-header at Belle Isle, the team announced on Wednesday.

The team had been hoping to add Wilson's brother Stefan to their line-up, but when the necessary financial deals didn't come together Dale Coyne opted instead to extend Ana Beatriz' time with the team in the interim. Originally only planned to race in her native Brazil and at Indianapolis, Beatriz has helmed the #18 car since the star of the season.

But this weekend at Detroit, for the first IZOD IndyCar Series doubleheader of the 2013 season, the team has opted to select a proven street and road course racer in Conway, who won the 2011 Long Beach event while driving with Andretti Autosport.

“First, I want to say what a great job Bia has done in the #18 car,” said Coyne said. "I think it was beneficial to run concurrent races with Bia where she could truly show her competitiveness as she did in Brazil and Indy.

"We are also excited to have a street course racer like Mike Conway join our efforts," he continued. "Mike has shown over the years how competitive he can be on all types of circuits and we look forward to having our all-English team go at it at Belle Isle.”

Conway quit his full time ride with AJ Foyt Racing in 2012 after concluding that he was no longer comfortable racing on oval circuits, which meant that he dropped out of the season finale at Auto Club Speedway, Fontana.

He made a one-off return to the series in April when Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing offered him a chance to recapture former glories at Long Beach, but unfortunately electrical issues forced him to retire from the race after he'd qualified in fifth place on the grid.

“I am very thankful for this opportunity with Dale and look forward to having a race weekend where I will have two chances to race with my fellow competitors,” said the 29-year-old from Kent. "I miss being in the car full time, and teaming with Justin again will be quite exciting for me."

Conway and Wilson were previously paired at Dreyer and Reinbold Racing in 2010. Wilson is a previous winner at the 2.3-mile, 13-turn Belle Isle circuit, having won in 2008. Conway started 15th and finished ninth at Belle Isle last year while still competing with AJ Foyt Racing.

Saturday will see Conway's 55th race in the IndyCar Series, with the 56th outing following hot on its heels the following day.

No entry for Panther DRR

As feared, there is no entry listed for this weekend's Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans for the Panther-DRR team and its driver, Oriol Servia. Team co-owner Dennis Reinbold had warned staff last month that this year's Indianapolis 500 was likely to be the squad's final outing for the foreseeable future.

A lack of available sponsorship funding was blamed for the decision. Servia netted $271,305 for the team at last week's Indy 500 after finishing in 11th place, but that wasn't enough to justify keeping the team open.

Sexual harassment lawsuit filed against SFHR

A former mechanic for the Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing IZOD IndyCar Series race team is reportedly suing the team, alleging that he was fired after complaining about being sexually harassed by a crewmate.

In a lawsuit filed on Friday in Indianapolis federal court, Scotty Merryman alleges that the team allowed another crew member to physically and verbally sexually harass him while he was employed by the team between January 2011 and July 2012.

Merryman alleged the team had broken federal laws against sex discrimination, religion discrimination and retaliation, as well as claims of battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and wrongful discharge based on Indiana law.

The complaints are apparently related to Merryman's Christian faith which reportedly led to escalating taunts from other members of the crew, culminating in an incident in which a kneeling Merryman was approached "from behind [by a crew member who] unzipped his pants, and tapped the back of Merryman's head with his penis.”

Merryman was subsequently fired by the team which cited the "chemistry" between him and the other man. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages on behalf of Merryman.


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