IndyCar »

Hildebrand re-signs with Panther

Panther have signed up JR Hildebrand for a further two years, putting him at the wheel of the #4 National Guard entry through to the end of the 2013 season.
JR Hildebrand has re-signed for a further two year deal with Panther Racing in the IZOD IndyCar Series and will stay with the team through to the end of 2013.

Hildebrand famously lost the chance to win the centennial Indianapolis 500 in May when he crashed going through the final corner, and ultimately lost out on gthe rookie of the year title to James Hinchcliffe, but nonetheless had a strong début season in the series.

"We're happy that we're able to keep JR in the #4 car for the next two years," said Panther Racing's managing partner and CEO John Barnes. "We signed him last year with every intention that he would be in the #4 car for the foreseeable future and he proved both inside and outside the race car that he was a perfect fit for this team and what we represent."

Hildebrand was the 2009 Firestone Indy Lights champion, and was originally signed by Panther last December after a two-day driver evaluation test at Phoenix International Raceway. Originally his contract was for one year with a two-year further option, which the team have now picked up.

"I'm super stoked that I'm going to be back at Panther for the next two years," said Hildebrand. "Everybody at Panther is excited about getting started on next year and especially looking forward to getting back to the Indianapolis 500 so we can avenge our battle scar."

Talking about that infamous end to the Indy 500, his team boss said that JR's response to that devastating last-second loss had been a test of Hildebrand's character - and that he had proved himself beyond question to the team in how he'd coped.

"The true test of any athlete is how they handle adversity, and I couldn't be more impressed with how he handled himself during the course of this season," said Barnes. "We've all got our work cut out for us for next season, and we're very pleased that JR is going to be a part of that."

Hildebrand did struggle for results somewhat toward the end of the season. He needed surgery after the season finished to repair a torn arterial cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee that he suffered at a media event at Texas Motor Speedway shortly after the Indy 500, broke a bone in his hand at Baltimore and was then hospitalised following the disastrous multi-car accident at Las Vegas with a bruised sternum and a concussion.

"It was a crazy year for us," the 23-year-old Californian agreed. "But we had some really strong runs and I enjoyed being a part of this team."

Hildebrand is scheduled to test the 2012 Dallara 'DW12' chassis for Chevrolet in early December.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
JR Hildebrand (Panther Racing) wrecks on the last turn of the 2011 Indianapolis 500 while running in the lead. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sunday, May 29 2011. [Picture credit: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media]
JR Hildebrand`s wrecked Panther Racing car slides across the finish line of the 2011 Indianapolis 500 in second place. [Picture credit: LAT Photo USA for IndyCar Media]
JR Hildebrand [Picture credit: IndyCar media]
JR Hildebrand prepares the National Guard car for its qualifying run at Iowa Speedway. [Photo credit: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media]
Will Power (center), driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 17, 2014 with second-place finisher Juan Pablo Montoya (left), driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet, and Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Huggies Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 17, 2014 at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. Power has the driver championship points lead heading into the final two races of the season.  (Photo by Lesley Ann Miller/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 17, 2014 at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. Power has the driver championship points lead heading into the final two races of the season.  (Photo by Lesley Ann Miller/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, August 17, 2014 at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. Power has the driver championship points lead heading into the final two races of the season.  (Photo by Lesley Ann Miller/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a sixth-place finish Sunday, August 3, 2014 during the IndyCar Series race at Mid Ohio Raceway in Lexington, Ohio. The finish was good enough for Power to retake the drivers points championship lead from teammate Helio Castroneves. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon (right), driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 3, 2014 during the IndyCar Series race at Mid Ohio Raceway in Lexington, Ohio. Sebastien Bourdais (left), driver of the #11 Hydroxycut KVC Racing Technology Chevrolet IndyCar V6, finished second. It`s Dixon`s first victory of the season. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 celebrates his victory Sunday, August 3, 2014 during the IndyCar Series race at Mid Ohio Raceway in Lexington, Ohio. It`s Dixon`s first victory of the season. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 celebrates his victory Sunday, August 3, 2014 during the IndyCar Series race at Mid Ohio Raceway in Lexington, Ohio. It`s Dixon`s first victory of the season. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon and the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing team celebrate victory in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sport Car Course on Sunday August 3 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais, driver of the #11 Hydroxycut KVC Racing Technology Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates with his family after winning the pole during qualifying Saturday, August 2, 2014 for Sunday`s IndyCar Series race at Mid Ohio Raceway in Lexington, Ohio, (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Sebastien Bourdais, driver of the #11 Hydroxycut KVC Racing Technology Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole during qualifying Saturday, August 2, 2014 for Sunday`s IndyCar Series race at Mid Ohio Raceway in Lexington, Ohio, (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Sebastien Bourdais, driver of the #11 Hydroxycut KVC Racing Technology Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole during qualifying Saturday, August 2, 2014 for Sunday`s IndyCar Series race at Mid Ohio Raceway in Lexington, Ohio, (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Sebastien Bourdais, driver of the #11 Hydroxycut KVC Racing Technology Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole during qualifying Saturday, August 2, 2014 for Sunday`s IndyCar Series race at Mid Ohio Raceway in Lexington, Ohio, (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Sebastien Bourdais with his son after winning Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.