Hi Everyone! JR Hildebrand is in the car for Panther. He tested all day and did a GREAT JOB! He is going to be one too watch in 2011!!! — Al Unser, Jr. via Twitter.
This is fantastic! Ever since the National Guard sponsorship came to Panther Racing in 2008, there was a complaint that they should have an American driver in the cockpit. Panther first ran Vitor Meira for a year until they hired Dan Wheldon in 2009. Although many were annoyed that a “Brit” was driving the car, I don’t thing that ANYONE can legitimately say that Wheldon didn’t give 110% of his effort and respect to the team and sponsor. I’m extremely happy with how Dan worked to help the National Guard and how respectful he was of the National Guard and our service men and women. That’s not to say that having an American in the cockpit isn’t a huge plus. I’m very excited that the rumor we’ve been hearing for some time is finally starting to take more solid form. Granted this is only a mention via twitter, but coming from Little Al, I’m going to take it as a pretty solid source. We’ll share more details as they become available.
Well, looks like the ink isn’t quite dry…
Very productive test in the No. 4 car today at Phoenix with JR Hildebrand. To clarify, we have no agreement in place for 2011. #indycar — @PantherRacing
I’m down at PIR testing with @PantherRacing, had a really solid day. Nothing set for next year, pretty excited just to be back in a car! — @JRHildebrand
Well, you can’t blame us for being excited anyway. 🙂