Reigning American Le Mans Series champion Simon Pagenaud will make his IndyCar Series debut at Barber Motorsports Park this weekend when the 26-year-old Frenchman stands in for the injured Ana Beatriz in the Dreyer & Reinbold team.
Both DRR drivers Beatriz and Justin Wilson sustained injuries to their wrists in the opening round at St Petersburg two weeks ago, but while the Englishman will start this weekend's event, the Brazilian has been ruled out with a broken scaphoid bone.
"I could feel that my hand was sore and as the race went on it started to bother me more and I was in a lot of pain," said Beatriz, who picked up the injury on lap 5, but went on to finish 14th. "I was just focused and determined on finishing the race. I really wanted it knowing that I wasn't 100 percent.
"It wasn't until after the race that I realised that something was actually broken. I was pretty upset, but the team and the league have been great. I'm putting a lot of effort in being ready for Long Beach."
Pagenaud, who was Will Power's team-mate in the 2007 Champ Car World Series with Derrick Walker's Team Australia squad, currently races for Highcroft in the ALMS as well as being part of the factory Peugeot assault on the Le Mans 24 Hours.
"I'm fortunate to have the opportunity to drive Bia's #24 IndyCar this weekend," he said. "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."
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