Stalwart IRL team PDM Racing are currently searching for a replacement driver for rookie Scott Mayer, who failed to pass his Rookie Orientation Practice test at Indianapolis earlier this week.

Mayer, who has started all three IRL IndyCar Series races in the #18 PDM Dallara-Chevrolet so far this year, is now ineligible to take part in official practice and qualifying sessions at the legendary 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"It is a shame, because Scott has the desire to be at Indy," said co-owner Paul Diatlovich. "He has been an integral part of the team, not just this year, but for the past two. It is unfortunate, and we hope that Scott will remain as part of the team in some capacity."

Mayer's deal to drive for PDM was only for the first four rounds of the 2003 Championship, of which the Indy 500 is the fourth. Although his performances have been less than stellar, Mayer worked for more than a year to attain the necessary sponsorship to start the season and his efforts made a big difference in PDM's ability to continue operating this year.

PDM is currently in negotiations with a handful of potential replacements for the 87th running of the Indy 500. The team had tested German former Formula 3000 driver Alex Muller before the start of the year but he too would have to go through ROP before taking part in any official practice and qualifying sessions.

In addition to Muller there are currently a host of IRL series veterans without a ride for Indy this year including Robby McGehee, Donnie Beechler, Jeff Ward, Eliseo Salazar, Raul Boesel, Mark Dismore, Richie Hearn, Jimmy Kite and Airton Dare.

In the meantime, the PDM crew continues to get ready for the long month of May. The #18 car was brought back to the shop, dismantled, and sent to the paint shop. The team also has been delivering equipment to the garages in Gasoline Alley at The Speedway.