DRR aims for further IndyCar appearances amid funding issues
|By Mark Glendenning||Friday, April 26th 2013, 16:47 GMT|
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will attempt to make occasional appearances in IndyCar over the remainder of the season if it is unable to secure the funding to continue full-time after the Indianapolis 500.
It was revealed early on Friday that the team will stand down after the Indy 500 unless it can attract additional investment, with the hope of regrouping and re-entering the series full-time in 2014.
However, team co-owner Robbie Buhl told AUTOSPORT that even if DRR is forced to scale back after Indy, it could still race later in the season.
"If there were one-offs later in the year that made sense, we would do that," he said.
News of DRR's plight comes off the back of a sixth-place finish for Oriol Servia at Long Beach last weekend.
The team entered 2013 having consolidated its partnership with Panther Racing during the off-season, and Buhl said that the benefits of this alliance made the timing of DRR's potential withdrawal all the more unfortunate.
"Oriol was as disappointed as everybody, just because the continuity that we have working with Panther was really starting to make some strides," Buhl said.
"Having said that, we've really got to focus and deliver at Brazil and Indy, but it's a tough position to be in.
"It's not what you want to do, but we [co-owner Dennis Reinbold and I] feel that it's the best thing that we have to do for the team and for the future, it just say, 'OK right now we don't have enough revenue coming in; let's peel back after Indy'.
"We're going to try to keep a core group of our guys and rebuild for next year. We're also looking at some other series to be in. So we're not going away, but we've got to be smart in terms of how we look at things."
TOUGH 2012 STILL FELT
Buhl said that there was no single catalyst for the team's financial problems, although he admitted that the switch from Lotus to Chevrolet engines mid-way through last year took a toll.
"Last year was a tough year for us," he said. "Starting with the Lotus and then having to convert over cost us a lot more than we anticipated, that changeover. It's a little bit of everything. But we love what we do.
"We'll stay after it and look to see what other partners we can bring in where it's value and a return for them, and hopefully have a full programme for 2014."
Panther owner John Barnes was unavailable for comment, although a team spokesperson told AUTOSPORT that its programme with driver JR Hildebrand will not be affected by DRR's situation.
"Any decisions with respect to the future of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing have no affect on Panther Racing," he said.
"All the DRR guys are absolute class acts, and Panther will do anything in its power to help Dennis and Robbie continue racing this season and beyond in the IndyCar Series."