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Servia back with Panther for Mid-Ohio

Oriol Servia will return to action in the IndyCar Series this weekend as he steps back into the #4 National Guard car with Panther Racing at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Spain's Oriol Servia will make his third IZOD IndyCar Series start of the year with Panther Racing this weekend, as he takes over the #4 National Guard car in place of an injured Ryan Briscoe.

“I'm very excited to be back in the National Guard car,” said Servia. "I'm looking forward to being competitive this weekend and there's no reason why we shouldn't be.”

“Oriol's part of our family so it's very seamless for the National Guard crew to get him back in the No. 4 car,” said Panther owner John Barnes.

Servia had been left without a full-time ride earlier this year when Dreyer & Reinbold had to stop racing operations due to a shortfall of funding following the Indianapolis 500 in May. After JR Hildebrand was subsequently let go by Panther, Servia was later confirmed for two outings in the #4 Panther car in oval events at Texas Motor Speedway and Iowa Speedway.

“Iowa was my last race, and while I love ovals, I'm really looking forward to getting back on a road course," admitted Servia after Tuesday's announcement, which also confirmed that he would be with the team at Mid-Ohio for a one-day test on Wednesday.

"We have a test day before the race that will be a big help for us fine-tuning the car, and especially for me to knock off a little rust," Servia said. "Mid-Ohio is a very technical track and a (road course) specialist track, but I feel like everybody in our paddock is becoming a specialist because there are so many strong guys out there."

Briscoe had filled the race seat for the other events at Detroit, Milwaukee and Pocono, but he broke his right wrist in an accident in the first race of the Toronto double-header mid-July and had to sit out the next day's race, with Indy Lights star Carlos Muñoz taking over at short notice.

Mike Conway was drafted in by Briscoe's other current race team Level 5 Motorsport to substitute for him in a round of the American Le Mans Series at Mosport in Ontario, Canada. Working with co-driver Scott Tucker, Conway succeeded in bringing home the #552 HPD ARX-03b home in third place in the LMP2 category and in fourth place in the race overall. The event was won by the #6 Muscle Milk Pickett Racing HPD ARX-03c LMP1 car co-driven by Lucas Luhr, who will make his début in the IndyCar Series at Sonoma next month in a one-off second entry for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing.

Although it's been almost three weeks since the accident at Toronto, Briscoe's wrist is not sufficiently healed to see him back on race duty as early as this weekend's round 14 of the IndyCar Series, with the team anxious not to set back his recovery by putting him in the car prematurely.

“We didn't want to rush Briscoe back from surgery and obviously Oriol is a great IndyCar driver and does a phenomenal job working with our crew," said John Barnes.

"The test day on Wednesday will be a big help and we're looking forward to a great weekend with our friends from the Ohio National Guard," he added.



Related Pictures

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Oriol Servia during practice at St Petersburg, Florida - March 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Oriol Servia on the sixth day of practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Thursday May 16, 2013. (Picture Credit: Pete Howard for IndyCar Media)
Accident for Sage Karam on the first lap of the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Mike Young 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)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe during practice prior to Qualifying for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race (Photo by: Leigh Spargur)
James Hinchcliffe at IMS (Photo by: Mike Harding)
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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