Motegi, Japan (Sept. 18, 2011) - It wasn't the
day Dreyer & Reinbold Racing was hoping for at the Indy Japan:
The Final At Motegi. The team made their ninth appearance at the
Twin Ring Motegi circuit, but it was their first time to compete on
the 2.983-mile road course with DRR drivers, Giorgio Pantano (No.
22 Kona Deep) and Ana Beatriz (No. 24 Ipiranga).
As the green flag dropped, Giorgio Pantano had a good, clean
start, gaining a position, going from 18th to 17th place. The team
opted for an alternate strategy, and on Lap 3 the Italian came in
to switch from the Firestone Firehawk "black" Primary tires to the
"red" Alternate tires. Things were looking positive as Pantano
clocked the fastest lap of the race on Lap 5 with a time of
From that point on, Pantano worked diligently to pass people,
but on Lap 15 as he attempted to get by Simona de Silvestro in Turn
2, he was unable to make the pass which caused him to run off of
the track, and he fell back to 26th position as a result. On Lap
22, the full course caution came out and Pantano came in on Lap 23
for fuel and tires. The yellow waved again on Lap 26, and on the
second re-start on Lap 27 Pantano started to make some ground.
Things got a little tricky for Pantano on Lap 37 when he locked his
brakes, causing him to drop back to 25th position. He would come in
again on Lap 43 for the final time for fuel and tires. He worked
diligently in the second stint to gain positions, as he picked
people off. Pantano brought the car home safely in 16th place.
It was a disappointing day for Ana Beatriz. The Brazilian had a
clean start from 21st position and managed to stay out of trouble
on the first lap. Like her teammate, Beatriz was on an alternate
fuel strategy and came in on Lap 4 to switch from the Firestone
Firehawk "black" Primary tires to the "red" Alternate tires. For
the first stint she went into fuel save mode, but unfortunately, on
Lap 21 the yellow came out, which did not play in the Brazilian's
favor. The team came in on Lap 23 for fuel and tires, but
unfortunately DRR wasn't able to get all of the fuel in and she had
to come in two more times, and as a result lost some momentum. On
Lap 27, the green flag waved for the second re-start. From then on,
Bia worked hard to make up time. She came in for the last stop on
Lap 44 for fuel and tires. Beatriz would finish the race in 19th
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will head home to Indianapolis
where they will turn the cars around to test in Kentucky this
coming Friday. For more updates on the team please visit www.dreyerreinboldracing.com.
What they have to say...
Giorgio Pantano, No. 22 Kona
Deep: "The Kona Deep car was really good
during the race, but unfortunately it was very difficult to pass at
this track. I made a couple of mistakes because I was pushing hard
to pass people, but when you start at the back it's more difficult
to do. It wasn't the result we were hoping for, but we managed to
stay out of trouble and the guys did a great job."
Ana Beatriz, No. 24 Ipiranga: "Today wasn't the
best day for us. There were some things that didn't quite go our
way and it was a tough day. Now we need to move on to Kentucky and
hopefully we can bring home a good result."