The Indy Racing League driver carousel slowed Tuesday to pick up two more riders as Dreyer & Reinbold announced both Buddy Rice and Sarah Fisher as teammates of a two-car IndyCar Series entry for the 2007 campaign. Ending speculation that one of...
The Indy Racing League driver carousel slowed Tuesday to pick up two more riders as Dreyer & Reinbold announced both Buddy Rice and Sarah Fisher as teammates of a two-car IndyCar Series entry for the 2007 campaign.
Ending speculation that one of the two veteran IRL drivers would fill their car's seat, D&R boldly put both the 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner (Rice) and the League's most popular driver even (Fisher) onto the podium for the announcement.
"The reason behind (two drivers) is simple," said team co-owner Robbie Buhl. "Sarah, Buddy and Dennis (Reinbold) all feel the same way. As competitive as things have become in our series, when you have two cars out there you can generate that much more information. One car can go one direction, another car can go another direction, and hopefully by race time, you've developed a better, more competitive race product. The ability to overlay computer generated information in comparison to the cars."
"It's a great tool for the engineers and a great tool for the drivers to exchange that information," he continued, "and to compare data from the information you're getting from all your on board sensors, so it's one of those tools that you look to hope to have to be competitive. Also, we didn't want to make the commitment of running with two cars if we couldn't do it properly, which is always our goal. Right now we're excited about the way everything is taking shape for this year."
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing has competed in the Indy Racing League season since 2000, recording a victory and two top-10 finishes. The new season will be the first two-car entry the team has fielded since 2002 when Buhl and Fisher drove in tandem. More significantly, the ever-popular Fisher's return comes amidst a trio of female drivers (Fisher, Danica Patrick and Milka Duno, who hopes to confirm a ride) that seemed unimaginable just four short years ago.
"It will be exciting for the league," said Fisher, "because it's something they can sell and it will be great entertainment to see (three women) driving. I focus more on the individual drivers themselves and who you're competing against, but it will be neat to have three (female) drivers. This is cool!"
Buddy Rice's off-season odyssey in search of a ride for the coming season ended, as he promised, with a return to the series he has driven in Rahal/Letterman livery for the last three years. His tenure with Bobby Rahal's team came to a conclusion after the last 2006 race at Chicagoland in September.
"I wanted to stay in IndyCar racing," he said. "When I started talking with Dennis and Robbie, I knew the steps they were taking to make their team more competitive. They wanted to move up the ladder and make sure that they were competitive and a front running team. They're a long supporter of the (IndyCar Series), and to be honest, I'm excited to be back on a full time basis. I'm looking forward to being back in competitive race cars and at the Indy 500. It's the biggest race in the world, and I was fortunate to win it before, and I'd like to do it again."