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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 début at the season opener at St Petersburg.



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Chevrolet`s Camero pace car. [Picture credit: IndyCar Media]
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske Chevrolet [credit: IndyCar/Bret Kelly]
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske Chevrolet [credit: IndyCar/Bret Kelly]
Simon Pagenaud - Penske Chevrolet [credit: IndyCar Series]
Simon Pagenaud - Penske Chevrolet [credit: IndyCar Series]
Simon Pagenaud - Penske Chevrolet [credit: IndyCar Series]
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 celebrates his victory Sunday, March 13, 2016 after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. It is the second year in a row Montoya has won this race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 celebrates his victory Sunday, March 13, 2016 after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. It is the second year in a row Montoya has won this race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 takes the chequered flag to victory Sunday, March 13, 2016 during the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. It is the second year in a row Montoya has won this race. (Photo by Sam Cobb/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 races to victory Sunday, March 13, 2016 during the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. It is the second year in a row Montoya has won this race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 celebrates capturing the pole with the fastest lap Saturday, March 12, 2016 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. The four Penske Chevrolet`s were the fastest in qualifying and Chevrolet had the five fastest cars. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 captures the pole with the fastest lap Saturday, March 12, 2016 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. The four Penske Chevrolet`s were the fastest in qualifying and Chevrolet had the five fastest cars. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 captures the pole with the fastest lap Saturday, March 12, 2016 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. The four Penske Chevrolet`s were the fastest in qualifying and Chevrolet had the five fastest cars. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 captures the pole with the fastest lap Saturday, March 12, 2016 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. The four Penske Chevrolet`s were the fastest in qualifying and Chevrolet had the five fastest cars. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
The #12 Chevrolet of Will Power against the backstretch wall following contact during practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves - Hitachi/Team Penske Chevrolet   [pic credit: Chris Jones/IndyCar Media]
Helio Castroneves - #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet   [pic credit: Chris Owens/IndyCar Media]

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