Panther DRR has confirmed a scaled back operation in IndyCar after this year’s Indianapolis 500, after reports surfaced it was set to close altogether.
In a team release, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing said it will still retain a “core group of employees” at its Carmel, Ind. shop, explore other series opportunities, and will enter the 2014 Indianapolis 500 as they have partners already committed for that race.
“We have a long history at the Indianapolis 500 and that is our main focus right now,” said team co-owner Dennis Reinbold.
Co-owner Robbie Buhl added, “We have to thank our great network of partners that have supported us and we want to continue to perform at our highest level for them. We’ll be working hard to bring in additional sponsors as we rebuild after Indy this year and look to next season.”
The move will not impact Panther Racing, which forged a technical alliance with DRR ahead of last year’s Indianapolis 500.
Driver Oriol Servia – who seems to always hit dead ends throught no fault of his own – has now driven for seven teams (PPI, Sigma, PacWest, Patrick, Forsythe, Newman/Haas, DRR) that have eventually scaled back or closed their operations since his open-wheel career began in 2000.
Only Dale Coyne Racing (2004-05), KV Racing Technology (2006-08), and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (2009) are still active operations that Servia has driven for.
MotorSportsTalk continues its review of the Verizon IndyCar Series field, driver-by-driver, with a look at Ryan Briscoe. Despite not having a ride to start the year, Briscoe ended strongly courtesy of a series of strong runs at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Ryan Briscoe, No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
- 2014: 11th Place, Best Finish 4th, Best Start 4th, 1 Top-5, 11 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 12.8 Avg. Start, 10.6 Avg. Finish
- 2015: 18th Place (8 starts), Best Finish 5th, Best Start 2nd, 1 Top-5, 4 Top-10, 10 Laps Led, 17.8 Avg. Start, 12.0 Avg. Finish
For those who slag on Briscoe as being undeserving of top level equipment, his 2015 second half provided a friendly reminder of his overall ability level in what might be less than the best machinery.
Briscoe was thrust into the No. 5 car under trying circumstances to begin with, getting all of an hour’s worth practice replacing the injured James Hinchcliffe ahead of the Indianapolis 500. But subsequent drives on the ovals there, Texas, Fontana, Milwaukee and Iowa – even if the results were less than ideal – showcased a driver determined to show to the paddock he still had it, and then some. His defense against Juan Pablo Montoya in Sonoma was nothing short of brilliant, and courtesy of double points he actually finished ahead of full-season driver Stefano Coletti.
The Australian immediately gelled with the SPM team, engineer Allen McDonald and race strategist Robert Gue. He continues to prove he’s an asset, as he has enjoyed multiple opportunities to extend his career in various arenas of motorsport in both open-wheel and sports cars, the latter of which he won at both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with Corvette Racing this year.
Following an early retirement for Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton has closed even more on his third Formula 1 World Championship.
View it above in the race recap from the 2015 Russian Grand Prix.