DREYER & REINBOLD RACING READY TO HIT THE STREETS OF TORONTO
Indianapolis, IN (July 13, 2010) - Dreyer & Reinbold Racing had a bittersweet return to road/street courses in Watkins Glen two weeks ago. The team is eager to get back on track and show everyone that they will be one of the team's to beat. This will mark Dreyer & Reinbold Racing's second time to the streets of Toronto, and who better to do it with than two road racing pros, Justin Wilson, who will pilot the No. 22 Z-Line Designs machine and Tomas Scheckter, who will get behind the wheel of the No. 24 MonaVie car.
Watkins Glen didn't exactly turn out the way Wilson was hoping. The Brit started 6th and by lap 10 Wilson was running in 4th, but unfortunately he began to lose grip, and fell back before pitting on lap 18. Wilson came in, but lost some time in the pits and, as a result, the Brit would lose more positions. He emerged in 13th place. From that point on, he would fight balance issues for the remainder of the race. Luckily, that didn't hold him back, he finished 10th.
Fortunately, Wilson flew home to the UK after the race and has had some time to rest before hitting the bumpy streets of Toronto. This will be his sixth year at the 1.75-mile temporary street circuit. The veteran has had a lot of success at the famed track and is prepared to be on top this weekend. Wilson competed in four Champ Car races at the track from 2004 to 2007. He won his first Champ Car race in 2005 at Toronto and led 10 laps after starting third. In 2006, he won the pole, led 10 laps and finished fourth. Last year, as the IZOD IndyCar Series made the return to Toronto, he finished fifth after starting fourth.
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. The Barber, Alabama event, marked the second time that he has not made it into the Firestone Fast Six as he qualified 11th for the inaugural event, but brought the car home in 7th position. 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). Wilson has also qualified in every Firestone Fast Six since 2008, except for two (2009 -Edmonton and 2010-Barber), which makes a total of 14 Firestone Fast Six Qualifying sessions he has advanced to. So far this season he is on the same roll, as he started 3rd in Brazil, 4th in St. Petersburg, 3rd in Long Beach and 6th in Watkins Glen. On road and street courses, he has qualified in the top-5 nine times. Heading into the tenth round this weekend, Wilson currently sits 8th in the championship with 211 points.
Returning to the No. 24 car this weekend will be South African Tomas Scheckter. The team announced last week that he would replace the injured Mike Conway this weekend and will pilot the No. 24 MonaVie machine. Scheckter will visit Toronto for the second time. This will also be his first road/street course of the season with DRR. Scheckter feels fully prepared as he had the opportunity to have a break, relax, and train.
Last year marked Schecker's first start at the Toronto circuit. He started in 6th place, led six laps in 2009 start but was eliminated by contact with Alex Tagliani and Mario Moraes to finish 16th.
On another note, DRR announced last week that American driver, JR Hildebrand, will join the team in Mid-Ohio and Sonoma. Hildebrand will replace the injured Mike Conway for the two events and will drive the team's No. 24 Roll Coater entry for Mid-Ohio and the No. 24 TranSystems machine in Sonoma.
Hildebrand will make his debut IZOD IndyCar appearance at Mid-Ohio on August 8th and then at his home race in Sonoma on August 22nd. The Sausalito, CA native will step up to the IZOD IndyCar Series after competing in the Firestone Indy Lights category for the last two seasons. Some of his accomplishments include winning the 2009 Firestone Indy Lights Championship, the Formula Ford 2000 Championship, winning the SCCA Formula Russell Championship and the Jim Russell Sprint Car Series Championship to name a few. Last season he recorded four wins, eleven top-five finishes, twelve top-ten finishes, and five poles in Firestone Indy Lights, taking home the series title. He also participated in a 3-day test with the Force India F1 Team. In 2008, he finished fifth in Firestone Lights standings and won his first career race at Kansas, also recording 8 top-five and 12 top-ten finishes. For 2007, Hildebrand made his Firestone Indy Lights debut at the Infineon double-header with RLR/Anderson Racing. In 2006, he won the Cooper Tires Formula Ford 2000 championship for Cape Motorsports, recording a record-setting 12 victories in 14 races.
DRR eagerly anticipates the return of driver Mike Conway to the stable. Mike continues his rehabilitation and has made a return at the Infineon event his goal. Should Mike be cleared by the IRL Medical Staff for Infineon, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will be a three-car effort with Justin Wilson, JR Hildebrand and Mike Conway.
What they have to say:
Justin Wilson, No. 22 Z-Line Designs: "I'm looking forward to Toronto. It's a very challenging track. It's really bumpy, so we need to work on the car and make sure that it can handle those bumps and hopefully we can get another top-5 finish and get back up there in the points. That's the aim. I got my first Champ Car win in Toronto, so I'm looking for a repeat of that."
Tomas Scheckter, No. 24 MonaVie: "I can't wait to get back into a Dreyer & Reinbold Racing car again, especially with MonaVie on the car. I just have to thank everyone for the support. It's not's going to be easy and it won't be like an oval, but we are going to put a lot of work into it. If there's any street/road course that I like to go to it's Toronto, because it's a beautiful city. I've spent a lot of time in the gym, so I'm ready to go and I'm really looking forward to the weekend."