KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Sorry, that car’s not on the auction list.
The yellow and black No. 22 Panther Dreyer & Reinbold Racing car suspended from the rafters of the Silver Spurs Arena at Osceola Heritage Park made for quite a conversation piece for attendees and Discover Network's Velocity viewers during the evening session of the Mecum Auctions 2013.
Mecum Auctions founder and president Dana Mecum joined Panther DRR co-owners Dennis Reinbold and Robbie Buhl and driver Oriol Servia in announcing a multi-year partnership beginning with the upcoming IZOD IndyCar Series season. Mecum Auctions will be the primary sponsor on the Chevrolet-powered Dallara for the Indianapolis 500 and selected other races.
“We started an association with Dana and Mecum Auctions last year at Indy and we started talking about how we could cross-promote and it’s evolved to where they’re a bigger sponsor of ours this year,” Reinbold said. “It’s a growing relationship. Putting on one of these events they draw upon so many different vendors and supporters – from television to insurance to transportation – gives us the opportunity to develop more relationships.
“They’re a great, energetic organization. I’m just concerned I’m going to bid on some cars and outspend.”
The Mecum Auction Company has been specializing in the sale of collector cars for 26 years, offering more than 12,000 vehicles per year. More than 3,000 are being offered during the 10-day show in central Florida. Auctions are held throughout the United States and broadcast live on Velocity. More than $288 million in sales were registered in 2012, with a 1972 Porsche L&M 917/10 Spyder the highest-sold vehicle at $5.5 million.
“What’s exciting for us is there’s a Mecum Auction the week before the ‘500’ in Indy,” Buhl said of the May 14-19 event at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. “The energy and the production of this particular auction is a big deal and very well done. As Mecum is growing their auctions and we continue to grow as a race team, it’s a good match with our other partners, their audience and the INDYCAR audience.”
Servia started 27th and finished fourth in the Indianapolis 500 last May, and Mecum Auctions also was on the sidepods of the No. 22 car at Mid-Ohio.
"Last season's inaugural sponsor partnership with Panther DRR was very exciting for Mecum Auctions with our fantastic finish at the Indianapolis 500," Mecum said. "The entire Mecum family has been involved in racing for many years, it makes us very happy to announce our commitment to two more years of sponsorship with a passionate team with such deep racing roots like Panther DRR."
The 2013 season, which commences with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 24-26, will mark the 14th year of full-time competition for Panther DRR (previously Dreyer & Reinbold Racing). Buhl won the first race the team competed in at the Walt Disney World Speedway in January 2000.
Servia will see his initial track time of 2013 on Feb. 19 at Sebring International Raceway during a private test day.
“I can’t wait,” he said. “It’s been too long of a break and I’m excited to be continuing with the same team for two years in a row, which hasn’t happened to me since Indy Lights.”