Yasukawa Finds New Home
January 5, 2005 | 12:26 A.M. EST
"We’re excited to welcome Roger to Dreyer & Reinbold Racing," said Dennis Reinbold. "He’s a proven competitor with Honda power, and our team is eager to get onto the racetrack. Our new relationship with Honda provides additional motivation for the team, and we have high expectations for 2005."
Yasukawa ran his first full IRL season in 2003 for Super Aguri Fernandez, finishing 12th in points with eight Top 10 finishes, and as Runner-up to Dan Weldon in the Rookie of the Year title run. He ran two races for Team Rahal in 2004, finishing 10th and 11th at Indianapolis and Motegi. His two Indy 500 runs have both resulted with top 10 finishes.
"I’d like to thank DRR and their sponsors, as well as Honda, for giving me the opportunity to be back in the IRL," said Yasukawa. "I’m excited to work with the crew and the whole team. Although I ran an abbreviated season this year, it’s been a great previous experience and I am very confident that we’ll do well at Dreyer & Reinbold."
Born in Los Angeles, Yasukawa is fluent in English, Japanese, and Italian, having attended school in Japan, the US and Italy. He began racing karts in 1991, before working his way through the Barber Dodge Western Series (1998 Series Champion), Barber Dodge Pro Series (1999 Rookie of the Year), and Toyota Atlantics.
"Roger has solid experience in the IndyCar Series, and has proven he can run with the leaders," said Robbie Buhl. "I also look forward to his hospital visits with me on behalf of "Racing for Kids," and the sponsor relationships we’ll be able to extend."
Dreyer & Reinbold will continue its relationship with Racing for Kids, longtime sponsored by Sanofi Aventis and its legacy companies as well as Benson Ford, Jr. The team also welcomes Roll Coater to its sponsorship roster and additional associates are expected to be named prior to the start of the season.
DRR also welcomes open wheel veteran Len Paskus to the team as the lead engineer for 2005. Paskus has previous experience with Red Bull Cheever Racing and also worked for Pagan Racing, ISM, Blueprint, DRR and Heritage Motorsports.
The IRL’s first race is March 6 at Homestead/Miami Speedway, preceded by testing sessions at Homestead in January and Phoenix in early February. Road course updates and the new motor changes for the 2005 season have kept the team busy throughout the winter preparing for the new year.