Great Start to the 2010 Season For Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
São Paulo, Brazil (March 14, 2010)- The 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series opener in São Paulo, Brazil proved to be an exciting and eventful race for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. With qualifying and the event all in one day, it was a matter of everything that could happen did happen, and luckily, DRR pilots Mike Conway (No. 24 Dad's Root Beer), Justin Wilson (No. 22 Z-Line Designs) and Ana Beatriz (No. 23 Ipiranga) kept out of the trouble.
Just moments before the green flag dropped, a quick rain shower helped dampen the track enough to make the start of the São Paulo Indy 300 an extremely interesting one. In turn one a huge accident occurred involving multiple cars, but fortunately DRR managed to steer clear for the most part. Justin Wilson, who qualified on the second row in third position, was hit from behind and, consequently, his tire was cut and he had to come in on the second lap to replace his rear tire and again on the fourth lap. As a result, he quickly filtered back to 18th. Fortunately, Mike Conway and Ana Beatriz, who started 19th and 22nd, were able to bypass all of the action happening in front of them.
Finally, DRR settled into a groove and everything seemed to be going smoothly for the team as all three drivers quickly worked their way up the grid. The trio came in on lap 23 and had a good stop for fuel and tires. Just as everyone thought it was going to be a normal race, the weather decided to visit again and the rain came on lap 29. Conway and Wilson made the switch to rain tires on lap 30 and Beatriz on lap 31. As conditions worsened, the race was red-flagged on lap 35. After a lengthy break, the weather finally cleared again and the track went green. With the circuit still pretty wet, DRR decided to keep their rain tires on and all three would come in together on lap 41 to make the change back to the "slicks".
As the race neared completion, it was a matter of staying out of trouble, and that's exactly what all three did. Conway kept his nose clean and quietly picked his way up the grid the remainder of the race. He earned valuable points and brought the Dad's Root Beer car home safely in 8th position.
Wilson did exactly the same thing. Unfortunately, the Brit was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time at the start of the race and at the end. On the last lap his tire got cut again and he lost two positions, but still finished well, crossing the finish line in 11th place.
Experience and laps were just what the doctor ordered for rookie Beatriz. With limited track time, the Brazilian driver was quick to impress her home crowd. She drove a smart race, had smooth pit-stops and came out the highest finishing female of the race with 13th position. Beatriz definitely made the Brazilian fans proud as she was also became the first Brazilian female race-car driver .
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will now head back to their Indianapolis headquarters to prepare the cars and quickly turn them around for the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
What they have to say about the São Paulo Indy 300...
Justin Wilson, No. 22 Z-Line Designs: "It was tough out there today. After cutting a tire on the first lap from all the crash damage, the Z-Line Designs crew battled back. I was holding on to a top-10 going into the final lap but my left rear tire went flat, causing massive under-steer. I'm happy with what we accomplished today and I think we showed that we can run strong. It's just unfortunate that tire went down on the first lap. I'm really looking forward to St. Petersburg.
Ana Beatriz, No. 23 Ipiranga: "It was really fantastic and I was happy to be a part of it. The team did a great job. For me, it was about experience. I made few mistakes and finished in a pretty high position for my first time in an IZOD IndyCar. I learned a lot, gained a lot of experience and got faster as the race went on. I just have to thank the Brazilian fans and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and hopefully we can stay together the rest of the season."
Mike Conway, No. 24 Dad's Root Beer: "At the beginning of the race I just wanted to stay out of trouble. On the first corner there was a big accident so I avoided that and just kept my nose clean and picked off a few people. After that it got a little bit static and the heavens opened and the rain started. We took it steady and worked our way through the field and had some really good calls on pit stops and, as result, finished in 8th position. Great job to the Dad's Root beer car. We were able to come away with some good points and now we can focus on St. Pete.