DREYER & REINBOLD RACING LOOKS FOR POSITIVE RESULTS AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY Miami, Florida (September 29, 2010) - After a season of ups and downs, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing is prepared to end the last race of the season on a high. The ...
DREYER & REINBOLD RACING LOOKS FOR POSITIVE RESULTS AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY
Miami, Florida (September 29, 2010) - After a season of ups and downs, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing is prepared to end the last race of the season on a high. The Indianapolis-based squad is rejuvenated and ready for the Cafes do Brasil Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend. This will mark Dreyer & Reinbold Racing's tenth time to compete at the 1.5-mile oval, and piloting the team's cars will be Ana Beatriz, who will drive the No. 24 Roll Coater machine, and Justin Wilson, who will get behind the wheel of the No. 22 Z-Line Designs car.
DRR tested earlier this week at Homestead Speedway with both drivers. They were able to learn a number of things to help put them ahead of the game for this weekend. DRR's best finish at the track was 9th in 2009 with Tomas Scheckter.
After three successful runs at Chicago, Kentucky, and Japan, Justin Wilson is ready to tackle Homestead Speedway. This weekend will be the Brit's third time to compete at the 1.5-mile oval. In 2008, he started and finished 15th in his first start at this track. In 2009, he started 13th and finished in 10th place, earning his best result at Homestead. Since joining the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2008, Wilson has recorded seven top-10 finishes (2008: Kansas-9th, Milwaukee-7th, Richmond-7th, 2009: Chicagoland-10th, Homestead-10th, 2010: Indianapolis-7th, Chicago--7th) on ovals. He has led on an oval twice, (2008--Kansas led for five laps, 2010--Indianapolis 500--led for 11 laps). Wilson's best qualifying position on an oval was 8th position at Kentucky in 2009.
Earlier this season, Wilson earned DRR's best result since team co-owner, Robbie Buhl, won in 2000 at Walt Disney World Speedway as he came home with 2nd place finishes for the organization in St. Petersburg, Florida and in Long Beach, California. Long Beach marked his seventh career top-five finish, all have been on street/road courses. He started competing in the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2008 and since then he has won on a street course (2008 Belle Isle) and a road course (2009 Watkins Glen). Since 2008, Wilson has advanced to 15 Firestone Fast Six qualifying sessions. Out of those sessions, he has qualified in the top-5 ten times. So far this season, he has started 3rd in Brazil, 4th in St. Petersburg, 3rd in Long Beach, 6th in Watkins Glen, and 1st in Toronto.
Returning to the No. 24 car this weekend will be Brazilian Ana Beatriz. She will replace the injured Mike Conway. Beatriz will drive the team's No. 24 Roll Coater entry for the Cafes do Brasil Indy 300, October 2nd. So far this season, she has three starts for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing under her belt. Beatriz is ready to visit Homestead for her second time, but it will be her first time in the top level of the sport. Bia's previous start at the track was in 2008 in the Firestone Indy Lights Series, the ladder program of the IZOD IndyCar Series.
The Brazilian driver made her IZOD IndyCar debut at her home race in Brazil a couple of months ago and again at the Indianapolis 500 and at Chicagoland Speedway. The Sao Paulo native proved that she was ready to be in the IZOD IndyCar Series as she was the highest finishing rookie and female for the season opener. Beatriz competed in the Firestone Indy Lights category for the last two seasons. Her accomplishments include finishing third in 2008 in the Firestone Indy Lights point standings for Sam Schmidt Motorsports with one win, nine top-five finishes and 11 top-10 finishes. Beatriz also became the first female driver to win in Firestone Indy Lights when she won at Nashville in July. As a result, she was named winner of the Firestone Indy Lights Rising Star Award. For 2007, she tested for A1 Team Brazil in A1GP at China. In 2006, Beatriz finished fifth in South American Formula 3 with five podium finishes and one pole. She was named winner of the São Paulo Citizen Driver. In 2005, Beatriz became the first female to ever win a Formula Renault race and she went on to finish third in Formula Renault Brazil with three wins (Campo Grande, Vitoria and Tarumã) and four pole positions (Campo Grande, Vitoria, Interlagos (twice). Beatriz won a Gold Helmet Award and in 2004 finished fifth in Brazilian Formula Renault.
Although he won't be piloting the No. 24 Roll Coater entry, Mike Conway will be on the sidelines cheering his teammates on for the final race of the season. During the 94th running of the Indianapolis 500, Conway was involved in a high-speed crash. With one lap to go, the Brit collided with Ryan Hunter-Reay, who had slowed to conserve fuel in order to finish the race. Unfortunately, due to the varying speeds between the two cars, Conway's machine launched into the catch-fence and disintegrated as it ran along the track. As a result, Mike was transported via helicopter to Methodist hospital where he was released a week later. He had surgery to repair fractures to his lower left leg. Additionally, Conway had a compression fracture of one of his thoracic vertebrae.
Mike has spent the last three months recovering and undergoing a strict rehabilitation program in the UK. He has worked with a close-knit team of experts from across the UK on a program which was designed to gradually increase Mike's return to full fitness.
Last week Conway was evaluated by the IZOD IndyCar Medical staff and the feedback was that he is healing progressively well. Although he is on the right track to recovery and has made significant progress, Mike, his race team and management have made the decision to focus on next season.
"We are happy that Mike is back in the U.S. and that he will be with us in Miami. We wish that he could be racing, but his recovery process is the most important thing right now," commented Dreyer & Reinbold Racing co-owner, Dennis Reinbold.
"The main goal has always been for Mike to get back to 100 percent with his fitness level before getting in the car. He has made a fantastic recovery to date and there is no point rushing the final stages of his recovery. Mike will soon be back in the car for testing over the winter before returning to race next season," commented Mike's manager Mark Blundell from 2MB Sports Management.
The past three months have seen Conway working with his physio and the team from Pro Performance (The Science Behind Sport) on a rehabilitation program which included swimming, cycling, resistance bands and regular sports massages. Mike also underwent regular sessions in a Kriotherapy rehabilitation chamber at a Champneys Health Resort to speed up the healing process of the bones in his left leg.
Conway also made a number of visits to the single seater racing simulator at the PureTech Racing Centre where the advanced simulator technology recreates many of the sensations of racing and allowed Mike to undergo the experience of racing without needing to step back into the car.
"For less experienced drivers, our simulators act as great training mechanisms but for an experienced driver like Mike who has been out of the cockpit for a few months, our simulators allow drivers to get a feel for racing again and to begin to train the mind to react to a racing environment;" commented Peter Burns of PureTech Racing.
After three months of rehabilitation work in the UK, Mike is now back in the States and looking ahead to the final stages of rehabilitation and to getting back in the car.
What they have to say:
Justin Wilson, No. 22 Z-Line Designs: "It's a tough track. Fortunately, we had the opportunity to test on Monday. We learned some things from it and, hopefully, it will help for the weekend. I want to finish the season on a high and see if we can get a good result. I think we should know what it takes to make the car go fast and, hopefully, we can stay out of trouble and have a good clean race. I'm looking for a top-ten finish."
Ana Beatriz, No. 24 Roll Coater: "I'm pretty excited for this weekend. I've been back in Brazil working on a 2011 program and when Robbie called me with this opportunity I was really happy about it. I was able to test on Monday, which helped to get ourselves ready for this weekend and, hopefully, everything will go well and we can be competitive. I raced at Homestead for the first time in 2008 when I made my debut in Firestone Indy Lights. I'm familiar with the track, so we should be in good shape for the weekend."
Mike Conway (on his rehabilitation)- "It's great to be back in the US. It's been three months since I've been here and I've been itching to get back. I've been watching most of the races from home and I've been following what's been going on, so it's good to see the guys. Although I won't be racing, I will be at Homestead to catch up with everyone and to support the guys. All is going well and I've healed up nicely. I have been working with a great team of people for my rehabilitation and can't thank all of them enough for their hard work and support. Obviously, it's an ongoing process and I'm just keeping on with my training, physio work and rehab work so that when I get in the car I will be as good as I can be. My main focus is to be 100 percent with my fitness before I come back. It would have been nice to compete in the last race, but I think that it's more important to look at the long-term goals. I want to stay in the IZOD IndyCar Series for a long time and I think to rush back to one race wouldn't be a smart move. Now, I'm just focusing on future plans and I can't wait to get back in the car."