Pagenaud to Make IndyCar Debut at Barber

Reigning American Le Mans Series champion Simon Pagenaud will compete for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in the IndyCar Series. Don't worry though, the French racer will not be switching careers anytime soon, as his IndyCar flirt will happen for one time only, at the Barber Motorsports Park this weekend, when he'll substitute injured Ana Beatriz for DRR.

During the season opening round at St. Petersburg, both DRR racers sustained injuries to their wrists – Beatriz and Justin Wilson – but the latter's were not so serious as to prevent him from making the field at Barber. The Brazilian racer will however miss the second round of the season, due to a broken scaphoid bone.

I'm fortunate to have the opportunity to drive Bia's #24 IndyCar this weekend,” said Pagenaud, who last time raced open-wheelers in the US back in 2007, in the ChampCar Series. “It's an awkward situation and not the best for a driver to race in circumstances like this, but I wish her the best and hope she has a very quick recovery and I will work hard for a good finish.

I've been looking to get into IndyCar for several years and now is my chance, so I just have to say thank you to everyone for giving me the opportunity,” he added.

Beatriz was not involved in any accidents at St Petersburg, but sustained her wrist injury on Lap 5 and soldiered through the race to eventually finish 14th. While disappointed not to get back into her single-seater this weekend, she admitted all efforts are focused on starting the next round at Long Beach.

I'm putting a lot of effort in being ready for Long Beach,” said Beatriz. “I'm disappointed that I won't be able to drive the Blazemaster/ Ipiranga car, but I will be in Barber to learn from Justin and Simon and hopefully we can get a great result.
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