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Panther drops Hildebrand, hires Briscoe

“I'm unbelievably excited to be back in the IndyCar Series with Panther Racing and to have the opportunity to drive the National Guard Chevrolet this weekend,” said Briscoe. “I've competed against this team for a long time and it will be great to have the opportunity to work with John Barnes and the Panther guys.

"I'm confident we'll all work well together and be able to hit the ground running this weekend in Detroit," he added.

“We couldn't be happier to have Ryan Briscoe join Panther Racing this weekend,” said Barnes. “He's a championship-calibre driver who's proven he can win races on any type of track in the IndyCar Series.

"We have no doubt he can jump right into our program and put the #4 National Guard Chevy at the front of the field," he continued. "In his career he's gone toe-to-toe with the best drivers in this series and won a lot of races. We're all very excited that he's going to become part of our family here at Panther and look forward to getting him on the track this weekend in Detroit."

Briscoe has seven series wins to his credit on road, street and oval tracks, and has also taken 13 career poles including last year's Indianapolis 500 top spot. Since being dropped by Penske, the 31-year-old Australian has been racing for Level 5 Motorsports in the American Le Mans Series where he took P2 class victories in the 12 Hours of Sebring and at Laguna Seca earlier this month.

The team announcement of Briscoe joining the team was careful to say that this was for the Detroit back-to-back races only and did not address the long-term future of who will be in the #4 car for the rest of the 2013 season.

One possibility is that Oriol Servia - who drove for Panther's sister team Dreyer and Reinbold Racing until last weekend, when the team was forced to suspend operations following the Indy 500 due to a lack of sponsorship funding - will take up the seat, but reports say that the Spaniard's current contract situation needs resolving before that can happen, necessitating Briscoe's short-notice stand-in role at Belle Isle.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
JR Hildebrand on the third day of practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Monday May 13, 2013. (Picture Credit: Walter Kuhn for IndyCar Media)
JR Hildebrand on the fourth day of practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Tuesday May 14, 2013. (Picture Credit: Pete Howard for IndyCar Media)
JR Hildebrand crashes during the 2013 Indianapolis 500 - Sunday, May 26 2013. (Photo Credit: Mike Young for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe at Indianapolis. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
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 during practice at St Petersburg, Florida - March 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon - Chip Ganassi Indy Car [credit: IndyCar TV Twitter]
Will Power Texas
Charlie Kimball
Ed Jones feature
Ed Jones feature
Ed Jones
Ed Jones feature
Ed Jones feature
IndyCar, Dallara 2018 chassis, [Credit: IndyCar]
Graham Rahal Detroit celebration
Detroit IndyCar race start
Detroit IndyCar Andretti RHR

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