DREYER & REINBOLD RACING FINISHED 16TH AND 19TH FOR THE INDY JAPAN: THE FINAL AT MOTEGI
Motegi, Japan (Sept. 18, 2011) - It wasn't the day Dreyer & Reinbold Racing was hoping for at the Indy Japan: The Final At Motegi. The team made their ninth appearance at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit, but it was their first time to compete on the 2.983-mile road course with DRR drivers, Giorgio Pantano (No. 22 Kona Deep) and Ana Beatriz (No. 24 Ipiranga).
As the green flag dropped, Giorgio Pantano had a good, clean start, gaining a position, going from 18th to 17th place. The team opted for an alternate strategy, and on Lap 3 the Italian came in to switch from the Firestone Firehawk "black" Primary tires to the "red" Alternate tires. Things were looking positive as Pantano clocked the fastest lap of the race on Lap 5 with a time of 100.2453 seconds.
From that point on, Pantano worked diligently to pass people, but on Lap 15 as he attempted to get by Simona de Silvestro in Turn 2, he was unable to make the pass which caused him to run off of the track, and he fell back to 26th position as a result. On Lap 22, the full course caution came out and Pantano came in on Lap 23 for fuel and tires. The yellow waved again on Lap 26, and on the second re-start on Lap 27 Pantano started to make some ground. Things got a little tricky for Pantano on Lap 37 when he locked his brakes, causing him to drop back to 25th position. He would come in again on Lap 43 for the final time for fuel and tires. He worked diligently in the second stint to gain positions, as he picked people off. Pantano brought the car home safely in 16th place.
It was a disappointing day for Ana Beatriz. The Brazilian had a clean start from 21st position and managed to stay out of trouble on the first lap. Like her teammate, Beatriz was on an alternate fuel strategy and came in on Lap 4 to switch from the Firestone Firehawk "black" Primary tires to the "red" Alternate tires. For the first stint she went into fuel save mode, but unfortunately, on Lap 21 the yellow came out, which did not play in the Brazilian's favor. The team came in on Lap 23 for fuel and tires, but unfortunately DRR wasn't able to get all of the fuel in and she had to come in two more times, and as a result lost some momentum. On Lap 27, the green flag waved for the second re-start. From then on, Bia worked hard to make up time. She came in for the last stop on Lap 44 for fuel and tires. Beatriz would finish the race in 19th position.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will head home to Indianapolis where they will turn the cars around to test in Kentucky this coming Friday. For more updates on the team please visit www.dreyerreinboldracing.com.
What they have to say...
Giorgio Pantano, No. 22 Kona Deep: "The Kona Deep car was really good during the race, but unfortunately it was very difficult to pass at this track. I made a couple of mistakes because I was pushing hard to pass people, but when you start at the back it's more difficult to do. It wasn't the result we were hoping for, but we managed to stay out of trouble and the guys did a great job."
Ana Beatriz, No. 24 Ipiranga: "Today wasn't the best day for us. There were some things that didn't quite go our way and it was a tough day. Now we need to move on to Kentucky and hopefully we can bring home a good result."