Disappointing Day For Panther DRR In Mid-Ohio

RACE NOTES/QUOTES---- Lexington, OH, August 5, 2012

Fast Facts:

  • Yesterday Servia qualified 11th for today's race, but due to Alex Tagliani incurring a 10 grid spot penalty for an unapproved engine change, Oriol started the race 10th.
  • Unfortunately the start of the race took a disappointing turn. As the green flag waved, Oriol lost the top three gears on the No. 22 machine and as a result he had to immediately come into the pits to change the gearbox, causing him to go down six laps.
  • Although the start wasn't what the team had hoped for, Servia proved that he had the fastest car out on the track as he clocked four of the fastest lap times and three of which were the quickest of the race. His fastest laps were clocked on Lap 72 (leader lap) with a time of 67.1757 seconds, his second fastest time was on lap 74 (leader lap) with a time of 667.3392 seconds and his third fastest lap was on Lap 60 (leader lap) with a time of 67.3393 seconds.
  • Luckily, the team was able to repair the problem and on Lap 15 Oriol said over the radio that car was okay. He pitted on Lap 35 for a full fill of fuel and to switch from the Firestone Firehawk Primary (black-sidewall) tires to the Firestone Firehawk Alternate (red-sidewall) tires. Servia came in for the final time on Lap 62 for a full fill of fuel and to switch from the Firestone Firehawk Alternate (red-sidewall) tires to a scuffed set of the "red" tires. He finished the race in 25th position.
  • Servia was in Group 1 for yesterday's qualifying session. On the last lap he bumped out Helio Castroneves to secure a spot in the Fast 12. Unfortunately, he didn't advance to the Fast 6, but he clocked the 11th fastest time of the day with a time of 1:06.2053 (122.782 mph).
  • This weekend marked Servia's 8th start at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (four of those starts were in Champ Car from 2000-2003). Last year he started 20th and finished 8th. In 2000 he started 17th and finished 10th, in 2001 he started 26th and finished 9th, in 2002 he started 12th and finished 10th, in 2003 he started 8th and finished 18th, in 2008 he started 8th and finished 5th, in 2009 he started 14th and finished 11th.
  • In eight races, Servia has gained a total of 98 positions (7 positions in St. Pete to finish 16th, 13 positions in Barber to finish 13th, 7 positions in Long Beach to finish 16th, 12 positions in Brazil to finish 11th, 23 positions in Indianapolis to finish 4th, 11 positions in Detroit to finish 5th, 16 positions in Milwaukee to finish 4th and 9 positions in Toronto to finish 5th).
  • Since making the switch to Chevy power, Panther DRR and Oriol Servia have earned four top-five results in eight races, tying with a season best of fourth place at the Indianapolis 500 and in Detroit.
  • The Mecum Auction Company was the primary sponsor on the No. 22 this weekend.  Mecum Auctions has been specializing in the sale of collector cars for 25 years, now offering more than 10,000 vehicles per year.  Mecum Auctions is the world leader of collector car, classic motorcycle, vintage wooden boat and road art sales. Auctions are held throughout the United States and broadcast live on Discovery's Velocity Network. For further information, visit www.mecum.com or call 262.275.5050.
  • Last year Oriol Finished fourth in IZOD IndyCar Series standings....Recorded 11 top-10 finishes, with a best of second at New Hampshire and Baltimore....Among three drivers to be running at the finish in all 17 races..... Led all drivers in laps completed (2,103 of 2,011)....Oriol was the only driver to finish in the top 10 in first five races of the season.
  • This weekend marked Panther DRR's sixth time to compete at the 2.258- mile circuit. Last year, Justin Wilson broke his back during practice and Simon Pagenaud had to fill in for him for the race. Pagenaud qualified 18th and finished 13th and Ana Beatriz started 25th and finished 17th. In 2010, Wilson qualified 11th and finished 27th and JR Hildebrand started from 18th position and finished 16th.The team finished best of eighth in 2007 after starting ninth with Buddy Rice. In 2007, Sarah Fisher qualified 17th and finished 15th. In 2009, Mike Conway started 16th and finished 20th and Duno started 20th and finished 21st. In 2008, Rice qualified 7th and finished 20th and Duno qualified 26th and finished 23rd.
  • It was announced in May that the Indianapolis-based squad has united with two-time IndyCar Series champion Panther Racing to form a strategic alliance on Oriol Servia's entry for the remainder of the 2012 season. The No. 22 Panther/DRR team will utilize Panther's second Chevrolet engine lease and work in conjunction with the No. 4 National Guard team and driver JR Hildebrand.

 

Oriol Servia, No. 22 Panther DRR, on the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio: "We all know that this is apart of racing, but it really stinks when it happens to you. At the start of the race when I went to fourth gear it just broke and I don't know why. We then changed the gearbox and we lost six laps because of it. My radio wasn't working so I didn't know the fast times. I could see that I was catching the guys in front of me and I kept catching them and letting them go, but I had no idea that we were that fast compared to everybody. So again, great job by the team and as I said, we had good pace and a good car. It's just part of racing when things like this happen. It's just unfortunate, because we keep getting closer to the podium, but we have three races left and I think that we will have good cars at all of them so we still have time to shine."

 

Dennis Reinbold, Panther DRR Co-Owner: "We're not happy with the result and we're frustrated that we had to start out with a problem when we had one of the fastest cars out there today. Fortunately, we will take our setup and apply it to future races."

 

Back on Track: Panther DRR will head home to Indianapolis to rest and gear up for the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. The race is scheduled for Sunday, August 26th at 4:30 pm ET. Live coverage will be on the NBC Sports Network and the IMS Radio Network. Please visit www.dreyerreinboldracing.com for more updates.