Former F1 driver and GP2 Series champion Giorgio Pantano will be fast earning a reputation as an IndyCar ‘super sub’. The Italian has been called up to replace Charlie Kimball at Chip Ganassi Racing for this weekend’s event at Mid-Ohio.
While the injury is far from serious, it has ruled out the American from competing in his traditional #83 Novo Nordisk-sponsored ride, and the team offered Pantano a late call-up in his place.
Last year, Pantano served as a substitute driver for Justin Wilson – who fractured two vertebrae in a seemingly innocuous practice accident at Mid-Ohio – at two championship rounds for the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. He achieved a best-placed finish of sixteenth in his second outing at Motegi.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity to be rejoining Ganassi and IndyCar this weekend at Mid-Ohio,” Pantano is quoted as saying.
“You never want to have something happen to another driver and I wish Charlie a quick recovery. Nonetheless, the opportunity is here and I am looking forward to working with the team again and making the best of it.”
“We’re fortunate to have Giorgio Pantano available as the #83 car driver at Mid-Ohio,” added Chip Ganassi team manager Mike Hull.
“His impressive global résumé fits well with the natural-terrain road track, [and] to have a quality driver, who has won the GP2 Championship against the best and blends into the team concept, is hard to find on short notice,
“Not having Charlie drive at Mid-Ohio is very disappointing, [but] since IndyCar has the best medical resource in motorsports, his recovery will be swift. His performance over the past few weeks has been impressive with increased momentum, so our expectation is that he will be back at full strength quickly.”