Dreyer & Reinbold Racing has announced that Brazilian driver Ana Beatriz will return to the team for the IZOD IndyCar Series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, replacing Paul Tracy in the team's No. 24 Roll Coater-backed entry.
Beatriz made her IndyCar debut with D&R at her home race in Brazil earlier this year, and again at the Indianapolis 500 and at Chicagoland Speedway (LEFT). She 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.
"I am very excited to get back in the car and race at Homestead," said Beatriz. "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," she added.
The team had originally hoped that Mike Conway – who suffered serious injuries in a crash during the Indianapolis 500, would be able to make his return to racing at Homestead. Although Conway's recovery has not yet reached that point, the British driver will be on hand at Homestead with the team.
"First of all, we are happy that Mike is back in the U.S. and will be with us in Miami," said team co-owner Dennis Reinbold. "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."
Conway underwent surgery in May to repair fractures to his lower left leg. Additionally, Conway had a compression fracture of one of his thoracic vertebrae from his devastating crash at Indy. 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 was judged to be progressing well. 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 racing next season.
"It's great to be back in the U.S. It's been three months since I've been here and I've been itching to get back," said Conway. "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."