The DRR-Chevy crew repeatedly shines at Indy, and has entered each 500 since 2000. Its greatest outcome at IMS was Oriol Servia’s fourth place in 2012, regardless of it being the squad’s first race with the Chevrolet 2.2-liter twin-turbo V6, having been lumbered with the underpowered Lotus for the primary 4 races of that season.
However that might additionally show to be the final yr that DRR competed in each spherical of the IndyCar Sequence, and crew proprietor Dennis Reinbold says that’s unlikely to vary any time quickly.
“Outdoors of the five hundred, in 2020 we did the three Indy street course races – the Grand Prix of Indy and the Harvest Grand Prix double-header,” he informed Motorsport.com. “We had been gearing up for issues initially of that yr; we had been at St. Pete able to go for the primary race, however that was the primary one affected by COVID restrictions and so it didn’t occur.
“Since then we’re constructing again up, however I don’t know if we’re going to do extra races. In all probability not this season. We might do the complete schedule but it surely’s a matter of discovering the funds to do it, and we’ve received our fingers full this yr with eight Nitro Rallycross [NRX] vehicles, because it’s a transition yr into the electrical autos. We’re actually enthusiastic about that: it’s going to be a world sequence and it’s going to make quite a lot of sense for producers.
“Firstly our focus is on the Indy 500 – that’s why we exist as a crew. All of our crew is principally based mostly out of right here, and I grew up only a mile and a half from the observe. That’s why I began the crew, why I wished to be a part of the Indy 500. That’s the largest precedence now we have.”
Requested if a partnership with one other crew would assist DRR towards going full-time, Reinbold replied: “I might contemplate it, sure, but it surely must be a extremely good match. We’ve type of dabbled right here and there, and I’ve talked with a number of completely different house owners about that chance, though there’s at all times been one thing that put the brakes on it. However we’re at all times open to it: it positively might work.
“However we don’t want it – now we have our personal people who find themselves full-time, working the rallycross operation, now we have our personal constructing, now we have the vehicles and the tools, the vans and haulers. We’re turn-key, so we don’t want any of these belongings from one other crew.”
For the ninth time, DRR will run Sage Karam at Indy this yr, a yr on from the 27-year-old Pennsylvanian very spectacular climb from the again row to complete seventh. And the squad will re-expand to 2 vehicles, the second to be pushed by Santino Ferrucci, who has completed seventh, fourth and sixth in his three Indy 500 outings.
Reinbold says he’s hoping that AES, a world energy firm with a significant base in Indianapolis, will even return as sponsor as a result of “AES makes quite a lot of sense for us and for the way forward for IndyCar in addition to all the opposite pursuits that we’re doing together with going electrical.”
He mentioned that IndyCar pushing again to 2024 the switch-up to the two.4-liter with hybrid energy doesn’t hassle him.
“I just like the emphasis being on ‘getting it proper’ – that’s the precedence. As a result of it’s an enormous step for IndyCar and an enormous step for the long run.
“Being within the automobile enterprise, I see what producers are doing and it’s troublesome to say, ‘We’ve been utilizing inside combustion engines, now we’re leaping straight to electrical’. There are quite a lot of steps alongside the best way and quite a lot of growth that should occur, all for the great.
“So IndyCar will get it proper, the companions perceive what’s concerned, what’s at stake. The timing will not be as vital as ensuring that the standard of the racing will not be impacted.”
Regardless of being solely a part-time entrant in IndyCar, Reinbold says his relationship with Penske Leisure Corp.’s resolution makers stays robust.
“I’ve at all times felt that if there’s something on my thoughts with regard to IndyCar, I can contact them,” he mentioned, “though to be sincere, I don’t want a lot!
“However sure, it’s a fairly straightforward relationship, they’re very responsive, very open to my perspective as a one-off IndyCar crew proprietor. My enter appears to be valued and so they respect what our crew represents and what we’re making an attempt to construct.”