Giebler, Lazier join Indy 500 field
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- Phil Giebler (right) will make his IndyCar Series debut in the biggest race of the year. The Indy Pro Series graduate will team with veteran Jaques Lazier to compete for Playa Del Racing in the 91st Indianapolis 500 on May 27.
"It's an amazing feeling," said Giebler, who passed his Indy Racing League rookie test April 23 at Kentucky Speedway. "I've wanted to do this for years. I got the opportunity to do the Indy Pro Series car with Playa Del Racing (at St. Petersburg), and we hit it off great. Everybody wanted to do the same thing - go to Indy. That really came up fast for me. "It's the biggest race, the Super Bowl of racing. It's an amazing feeling. I just hope to do well and bring home a good result for the team."
Giebler will drive the No. 31 Playa Del Racing Panoz/Honda/Firestone and Lazier will drive the No. 21 entry. Giebler will participate in the Rookie Orientation Program at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 6-7.
"Leading up to the (rookie) test, I couldn't wait to get in the car and see what the IndyCar Series car is all about," said Giebler, who won at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2004 in his Indy Pro Series debut. "I was real impressed with the car and with the Playa Del Racing team."
Giebler, a former Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IndyCar Series champion, also has competed in F3000 and represented America in the A1GP series.
"I am really excited to get the chance go to the next level with a team like Playa Del Racing," he said. "I know these guys are going to put together a solid car for me, and I'm going to have the opportunity to work with a stellar veteran teammate in Jaques Lazier."
Lazier will be making his third consecutive appearance behind the wheel of the Playa Del Racing car and hopes to make his seventh overall appearance in the 500-Mile Race (he relieved Robby Gordon in 2004). In 2006, he advanced seven positions to finish 17th. He posted a career-best Indianapolis 500 finish of 13th in 2000.
"I am very excited to be back for my third 500 with Playa Del Racing," Lazier said. "Due to the fact that I have been with the team since its inception, the relationship between myself and the crew are second to none. The communication process has always been one of our strongest points."
Clark Drake returns as chief mechanic and Mike Colliver is back as the team engineer. Lazier's primary car sponsor is the Indiana Ice, an amateur hockey team.
"Mike is an incredible engineer," said Lazier, who will again compete against his brother Buddy (Sam Schmidt Motorsports) in the Indianapolis 500. "He was with us in our '05 campaign, and having Mike back where he belongs is going to be an outstanding improvement."