Giorgio Pantano returns to IndyCar to stand in for Charlie Kimball at Ganassi
|By Sam Tremayne||Tuesday, July 31st 2012, 17:21 GMT|
Giorgio Pantano has been drafted in to replace the injured Charlie Kimball for IndyCar's trip to Mid-Ohio this weekend.
Kimball suffered an injury to his right hand in an accident while testing for his Ganassi team at the 2.3 mile circuit last Thursday.
Pantano also deputised for Justin Wilson at Dreyer & Reinbold in late 2011 after the Briton injured his back when he ran wide in last year's race at Mid-Ohio, posting a best finish of 16th at Motegi.
The former GP2 campion previously competed for Ganassi back in 2005, contesting two races and finishing fourth at Watkins Glen.
"It's a tremendous opportunity to be rejoining Ganassi and IndyCar this weekend at Mid-Ohio," Pantano said.
"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."
Team manager Mike Hull said the team was lucky to be able to call up Pantano as a replacement for Kimball, who took a career-best second in Toronto earlier in July.
"We're fortunate to have Giorgio Pantano available as the #83 car driver at Mid-Ohio. His impressive global resume 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," he said.
"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."