Panther DRR confirms scaled back operation

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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.

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”