Ana Beatriz Joins Dreyer & Reinbold Racing As rumored by AR1.com days ago Dreyer & Reinbold Racing announced today that Brazilian driver, Ana Beatriz, will replace the injured Mike Conway for the final race of the season at Homestead Speedway. She will drive the team's No. 24 Roll Coater entry for the Cafe do Brasil Indy 300, October 2nd. Although he won't be in the car, Mike Conway has made his return to the U.S. and will be in Miami to support the team.
"First of all, we are happy that Mike is back in the U.S. and will be with us in Miami. We wish that he could be racing, but his recovery process is the most important thing right now. With it being the final race of the season, we felt that Ana was the perfect choice. We are excited about having her back with the team. She did a great job for us in Brazil, Indianapolis, and Chicago. It will be good to have her in our car again for the last race. Ana has really shown us her talent and motivation. We look forward to running her as she competes at Homestead Speedway," commented Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Co-Owner, Dennis Reinbold.
The Brazilian driver made her IZOD IndyCar debut at her home race in Brazil a couple of months ago and again at the Indianapolis 500 and at Chicagoland Speedway. The Sao Paulo native proved that she was ready to be in the IZOD IndyCar Series as she was the highest finishing rookie and female for the season opener. Beatriz competed in the Firestone Indy Lights category for the last two seasons. Her accomplishments include finishing third in 2008 in the Firestone Indy Lights point standings for Sam Schmidt Motorsports with one win, nine top-five finishes and 11 top-10 finishes. Beatriz also became the first female driver to win in Firestone Indy Lights when she won at Nashville in July. As a result, she was named winner of the Firestone Indy Lights Rising Star Award. For 2007,she tested for A1 Team Brazil in A1GP at China. In 2006, Beatriz finished fifth in South American Formula 3 with five podium finishes and one pole. She was named winner of the São Paulo Citizen Driver. In2005, Beatriz became the first female to ever win a Formula Renault race and she went on to finish third in Formula Renault Brazil with three wins (Campo Grande, Vit¢ria and Tarumã) and four pole positions (Campo Grande, Vit¢ria, Interlagos (twice). Beatriz won a Gold Helmet Award and in 2004finished fifth in Brazilian Formula Renault.
"I am very excited to get back in the car and race at Homestead. The only time that I've raced there was in 2008 when I debuted in Firestone Indy Lights. It is a tough and very challenging oval. I would like to thank Robbie, Dennis and Larry for the confidence and our partners, Roll Coater, OX and Bardahl in making this happen. Also, after not being able to sign up for the entire season, Andre Ribeiro, Augusto Cesario and I planned on running four races this season and I am very happy and proud that we have achieved that. This is very important in growing my experience in the IZOD IndyCar Series and it will help me a lot for next year," stated Beatriz.
Although he won't be piloting the No. 24 Roll Coater entry, Mike Conway will be on the sidelines cheering his teammates on for the final race of the season. During the 94th running of the Indianapolis 500, Conway was involved in a big crash. With one lap to go, the Brit collided with Ryan Hunter-Reay, who had slowed to conserve fuel in order to finish the race. Unfortunately, due to the varying speeds between the two cars, Conway's machine launched into the catch-fence and disintegrated as it ran along the track. As a result, Mike was transported via helicopter to Methodist hospital where he was released a week later. He had surgery to repair fractures to his lower left leg. Additionally, Conway had a compression fracture of one of his thoracic vertebrae.
After the accident Conway flew back to the UK, where he has spent the last three months recovering and undergoing a strict rehabilitation program. He was evaluated by the IZOD IndyCar Medical staff this week and he is healing progressively well. Although he is on the right track to recovery, Conway and the team feel that it's best to focus on next season. The main goal is for Mike to get back to 100 percent with his fitness level before getting in the car. Conway has been released to test and to return to race next season.
"It's great to be back in the US. It's been three months since I've been here and I've been itching to get back. I've been watching most of the races from home and I've been following what's been going on, so it's good to see the guys. All is going well and I've healed up nicely. I have been working with a great team of people for my rehabilitation and can't thank all of them enough for their hard work and support. Obviously, it's an ongoing process and I'm just keeping on with my training, physio work and rehabbing so that when I get in the car I will be as good as I can be. My main focus is to be 100 percent with my fitness before I come back. It would have been nice to compete in the last race, but I think that it's more important to look at the long-term goals. I want to stay in the IZOD IndyCar Series for a long time and I think to rush back to one race wouldn't be a smart move. Now, I'm just focusing on future plans and I can't wait to get back in the car. Although I won't be racing, I will be at Homestead to catch up with everyone and to support the guys," commented Conway.
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will be on track Monday at Homestead Speedway to test in preparation for the final round of the IZOD IndyCar Series.
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