Oriol Servia in for Panther at Mid-Ohio


With Ryan Briscoe still on the mend after suffering a fractured wrist during the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader, Panther Racing has called in Oriol Servia to drive their No. 4 National Guard Chevrolet for this weekend’s Honda 200 (Sun., 3 p.m. ET, NBCSN) at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

It will be the Spaniard’s third start of the season for Panther; his most recent came at Iowa Speedway, where he finished seventh.

“We didn’t want to rush Briscoe back from surgery and obviously Oriol is a great IndyCar driver and does a phenomenal job working with our crew,” team co-owner John Barnes said in a statement. “The test day on Wednesday will be a big help and we’re looking forward to a great weekend with our friends from the Ohio National Guard.”

Servia has been relatively consistent at Mid-Ohio over the course of his career, with six Top-10 results in eight career races there. His best finish at M-O was fifth in 2008 for KV Racing Technology. Last year, he finished 10th for Panther DRR.

“Iowa was my last race, and while I love ovals, I’m really looking forward to getting back on a road course,” Servia said in a team statement. “…We have a test day before the race that will be a big help for us fine-tuning the car, and especially for me to knock off a little rust. I’m looking forward to being competitive this weekend and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be.”

Meanwhile, Briscoe will focus on making his return at the Aug. 11 American Le Mans Series event at Road America. He competes in the ALMS full-time for Level 5 Motorsports in addition to his part-time duties in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

“As long as I can turn the wheel at Road America, I’ll be OK,” he said according to RACER Magazine. “It will be tough, but I’m confident I’ll be all right. [ALMS cars] have power steering, which will make things easier.

“Realistically, my next time in an IndyCar will be testing with Panther at Sonoma, but Sonoma is one of the heaviest places [IndyCar goes] to for steering. I’ll have some more time to recover before that race, so I hope I won’t have any limitations for the rest of the season.”