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Servia confirmed for two-race stint with Panther

After sitting out the Detroit double-header following the shuttering of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, Spain's Oriol Servia will be back in action at Texas and Iowa.
Things were looking bleak for Spain's Oriol Servia following this year's Indianapolis 500. Despite finishing the race in 11th place, Servia was faced with losing his IZOD IndyCar Series race seat for the second time in less that two years.

Servia had a break-through season in 2011 racing with Newman/Haas, only for the long-standing team to announce at the end of the year that they were closing their open-wheel racing operation with co-owner Carl Haas blaming "the economic climate" for the decision.

Servia found a new race seat at Dreyer & Reinbold, but a struggle to get sufficient backing for the team saw DRR scale back to a one-car operation fielded in association with Panther Racing alongside their existing driver JR Hildebrand, and branded Panther-DRR

But despite these cost-cutting measures, team co-owner Dennis Reinbold was forced to announce the suspension of team activities following this year's Indy 500, leaving Servia once again on the sidelines as the series headed to Detroit for last weekend's double-header event.

When Panther Racing owner John Barnes announced before the weekend that JR Hildebrand was leaving the team 'by mutual agreement', it was immediately speculated that Servia was about to be handed the vacated #4 National Guard-sponsored race seat. That didn't happen in time for Detroit and Ryan Briscoe filled in instead, with Servia said to still be resolving contractual issues with DRR.

But on Wednesday Panther were finally able to confirm that Servia would be stepping into the cockpit for this weekend's race in Texas and also at the following event in Iowa.

“Oriol has been part of our extended family for over a year now, so this will be a seamless transition for the National Guard team,” said Barnes. “We know what Oriol is capable of, and our team is always happy to add a driver that can contend at any circuit on the IndyCar schedule.

"We're also excited to get him more integrated with the National Guard, as he's a perfect fit for their recruitment efforts in lots of diverse markets across the country," he added.

“I couldn't be more excited about this opportunity,” contributed Servia, delighted to be back on active duty after just a minimal hiatus. “I'm very thankful for the opportunity that Mr. Barnes has given me to continue this season with Panther and in the Chevy family.

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