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.

Ferrari junior Ilott victorious in Macau F3 qualification race

Theodore Racing
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Ferrari Driver Academy member Callum Ilott will start the 64th Macau Grand Prix from pole position after beating his Formula 3 rivals to victory in Saturday’s qualification race.

Ilott, 19, started third on the grid on Saturday behind pole-sitter Joel Eriksson and McLaren junior Lando Norris, but made a good start to rise to second early on.

Ilott hounded Eriksson for position for much of the race before battling past at Mandarin on Lap 7 as his Swedish rival struggled to keep his tires alive.

With Eriksson unable to respond, Ilott ultimately crossed the line more than seven seconds clear to take his first Macau win and secure pole for Sunday’s main event.

“We started quite strong as I got up to second from third which was not too bad. Then in the middle part of the race I had a good pace and I got past Joel for P1,” Ilott said.

“After that I managed to pull away. It was a good race, even quite relaxing at the end. I’m really happy for the result. Thank you SJM Theodore Racing by Prema, they did a great job and it should be good for tomorrow too.”

Eriksson held on to second ahead of Sergio Sette Camara, who completed the podium ahead of Maximilian Günther in P4.

Ferdinand Habsburg finished fifth ahead of Pedro Piquet, while Norris was left to settle for a lowly P7 after a clutch issue off the line caused him to drop down the order.

You can see full results from the Macau F3 qualifying race here.