Dreyer & Reinbold Racing has announced that Townsend Bell will substitute for the injured Justin Wilson at the IndyCar championship’s final two outings at Kentucky and Las Vegas.
Wilson has been out of action since he sustained a compression fracture in his back in an innocuous-looking accident during practice at Lexington. The team has deployed the services of Simon Pagenaud, Tomas Scheckter and Giorgio Pantano as replacements at subsequent rounds, and Bell will become the fifth driver to sample the #22 car this season.
The 36-year-old American last drove for the squad in 2008 during a part-season campaign (pictured above), and has only appeared on the IndyCar circuit for the Indianapolis 500.
Wilson, meanwhile, has confirmed that he is making steady progress as he continues his recovery – but the Briton was quick to rule out a return to competitive action until next season.
“A couple of weeks ago I was able to raise my arms above my head for the first time. Now I’m in the swimming pool every day and doing some upper body exercises, so things are starting to feel normal again,” he said.
“I might be fit enough to drive at Vegas, but for the sake of one race, when I’m not in contention for anything in the championship, it just doesn’t make sense,” he added, when quizzed about his rate of progress.
“Jumping in the car after 11 and a bit weeks isn’t the right way to see if my back is 100 per cent healed or not. But it won’t be long now until pre-season testing starts and I can focus on 2012.”
[Image via LAT]