The IndyCar Series grid will see two drivers return to the fold at this weekend’s round at the Texas Motor Speedway.
Panther Racing has secured the services of the recently-sidelined Dreyer & Reinbold Racing driver Oriol Servia for the upcoming oval events at Texas and Iowa, while Dale Coyne Racing will give Pippa Mann another go at Texas.
Servia was out of a drive following the collapse of the Dreyer & Reinbold squad after the Indianapolis 500, although rumours were rife during last weekend’s Detroit double-header that he would be return with Panther Racing, who recently dispensed with JR Hildebrand’s services and gave Ryan Briscoe a one-off outing at the street circuit event.
In a team media release confirming Servia’s appointment, Panther Racing confirmed that it did not expect to secure a full-time replacement for Hildebrand, and that the Catalan veteran is one of “several drivers [who] could have an opportunity in 2013”.
“We’re going to take full advantage of the opening we have here to determine what is in the best interest of the National Guard and Panther Racing’s long-term future.
“With limited off-season testing this is a great chance for us to get familiar with several drivers in a true race weekend scenario.
“We think the world of Servia, and we couldn’t have been happier with Ryan Briscoe last weekend in Detroit, but there may be a few others who will have a run in our car before the season ends.”
Meanwhile, Pippa Mann will return to the IndyCar Series grid with Dale Coyne Racing, which is still on a high after stand-in driver Mike Conway claimed victory in the first race last weekend at Detroit, and finished on the podium in Race 2.
The English racer was forced to retire from the race during last month’s Indianapolis 500 (pictured top) with Dale Coyne Racing, but will be given another shot with the team as teammate to regular racer Justin Wilson.
“After the Indy 500, I knew that overall our month of May had gone well and there was a chance that I might have the opportunity to get back into a car for Texas,” she said.
“I wasn’t sure whether it was going to happen or not until it got confirmed this past weekend.
“Texas has special memories for me because it was the venue of my first ever IndyCar outing, so I’m looking forward to going back there to race this weekend.”