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Dreyer & Reinbold “still looking” at full-time return to IndyCar

Team owner Dennis Reinbold admitted there is still a desire to return his Dreyer & Reinbold Racing IndyCar outfit to full-time status for the first time since 2012.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet

Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet

Geoffrey M. Miller / Motorsport Images

The last full season for DRR came with Oriol Servia behind the wheel in a campaign that featured four top five finishes after switching from the Lotus power to Chevrolet.

It has since put the majority of its focus on the Indianapolis 500, only running additional races in partial campaigns during the 2013 and 2020 seasons.

The interest level by a variety of teams not currently in IndyCar on a regular basis has gone up in recent years, particularly with upcoming changes to the technical regulations.

IndyCar’s forthcoming hybrid engine – which pairs the technology with the current 2.2-litre twin-turbocharged V6 powerplant – has been a moving target and undergone multiple delays, but is finally expected to be implemented during the second half of the season following the Indy 500 on 26 May.

The situation sets up an intriguing conversation on the possibility of new teams entering in 2025, including Indy NXT regular Abel Motorsports following its IndyCar debut in a one-off at last year’s Indy 500.

Following its announcement of Conor Daly and Ryan Hunter-Reay as its Indy 500 drivers for 2024, Reinbold was asked by Autosport if the introduction of the hybrid makes pursing a full-time return attractive.

“You never know,” Reinbold said. “We're open-minded to whatever presents itself.

“If we have a good situation that makes a lot of sense to us, we would look at doing more races in the future. We have all the components and the people to be able to roll that out.

Dennis Reinbold, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet

Dennis Reinbold, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Geoffrey M. Miller / Motorsport Images

“It just hasn't been a great fit to get back re-involved on a full-time basis. We've been kind of close a couple different times, so we're still looking at it, still open to it, for sure.”

Asked whether to expect a greater emphasis on an all-in approach by DRR for what is expected to be the last before hybrid power, Reinbold said: “Well, there are spec changes every year, so yes and no.

“They have to get the parts out to full-time teams first and foremost. We completely understand the need for that.

“We try to get our parts and components as quickly as we can in the queue. That puts us behind and limits some of our ability to do testing.

“We're playing catch-up whenever there are big changes like that. But we anticipate that. As soon as we get the parts, we dive in full force and arrange our testing accordingly.

“Like a lot of the testing that we have scheduled, we've pushed back from what we would normally do just because of parts availability. We work around it. It's not ideal.

“At the end of the race last year, if they said, ‘Here is your parts that you're going to run for next year's 500’, that would be ideal. It doesn't work that way because we have a lot of developing to do with those pieces.

“We understand. I think we've been pretty successful at getting those things ironed out in pretty good fashion.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet

Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

Reinbold added that much of that is due to the team’s involvement with Chevrolet.

“The open test that we do, we've talked to Chevy, we've worked with Chevy quite a bit in the off-season on different components and different things,” he explained.

“Everyone's in the same boat. From that standpoint, it's a pretty even playing field.

“It actually can sometimes benefit us to have changes and pieces and things like that because no one has them dialled in as of yet. You can look at it both ways that way.”

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