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Chevrolet add Panther to 2012 line-up

Panther Racing is to switch to Chevrolet engines from next season, reuniting the team with the engine maker that propelled it to 15 race wins and two IndyCar series championships.
Panther Racing has become the latest IndyCar team to opt for Chevrolet engines in 2012, when the era of Honda exclusivity in the series comes to an end.

Panther joins Penske and Andretti Autosport in signing for Chevrolet from the start of next season, while Honda itself has already signed up Chip Ganassi Racing, AJ Foyt Racing and Sam Schmidt Motorsports as customer teams for its engines.

The third engine supplier slated to provide power plants to cars next season, Lotus, are yet to announce any teams that have signed with them, although they plan to field Jean Alesi in a Lotus-powered car in next year's Indianapolis 500.

Panther's signing with Chevrolet marks a return to the General Motors fold, a combination that saw the team take two IndyCar championships in 2001 and 2002 with Sam Hornish Jr. Panther was the last team to be powered by Chevrolet in 2005 before the manufacturer withdrew from the series, and that year captured three pole positions and won at Texas with Tomas Scheckter at the wheel.

"I just couldn't be more excited that Chevrolet has decided to return to IndyCar racing and obviously it's a natural fit for Panther to have Chevrolet powering our cars once again," said Panther Racing's Managing Partner and CEO John Barnes. "Chevy races to win, and so do we, so we're ready to get to work and pick up right where we left off."

"Chevrolet and Panther Racing enjoyed tremendous success together in the past, winning races and winning championships, and we look forward to more success in the future," said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet's US Vice President for Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. "We're pleased to renew our longstanding relationship with Panther Racing. Both organisations share the same commitment, focus, and dedication to winning."

Panther's main driver JR Hildebrand has a long and personal connection with the engine manufacturer. "I definitely grew up in a Chevy family," he said. "My first real introduction to racing was my dad racing a 1968 Camaro out on the West Coast, so that was always part of my upbringing and it's going to be cool to be part of that Chevrolet family myself now."

The 2012 season will see a new specification of twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V-6 engine to coincide with an all-new IndyCar Safety Cell chassis that will make its d├ębut at the season opener at St Petersburg.



Related Pictures

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Photo of the new 2012 specification Dallara chassis, unveiled at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 10 2011 with the cars grouped around the historic
Chevrolet`s Camero pace car. [Picture credit: IndyCar Media]
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Hawk Performance Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to an 11th-place finish Sunday, August 2, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Montoya retains the overall driver`s championship points lead with two races left in the season. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to an fourth-place finish Sunday, August 2, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 PPG Finishes Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a third-place finish Sunday, August 2, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 PPG Finishes Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his third-place finish Sunday, August 2, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Graham Rahal leads a group through the Turn 2 Keyhole turn during the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal and his father, Bobby, celebrate in Victory Circle following their win in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Podium celebrations for Graham Rahal and Justin Wilson after the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Podium celebrations for Graham Rahal, Justin Wilson and Simon Pagenaud after the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal sprays the champagne in Victory Lane following his victory in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal wins the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal begins the celebration as he wins the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay waits in his pit stand prior to practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay rolls down pit lane for practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates having the fastest qualifying time Saturday, August 1, 2015, winning the pole for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Dixon set a track record of 1:04.5814/125.869 mph. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates having the fastest qualifying time Saturday, August 1, 2015, winning the pole for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Dixon set a track record of 1:04.5814/125.869 mph. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies fastest Saturday, August 1, 2015, winning the pole for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Dixon set a track record of 1:04.5814/125.869 mph. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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