IndyCar »

Wheldon confirmed for Surfers Paradise.

As anticipated, Panther Racing has confirmed that Dan Wheldon will make an early return in the cockpit of its #4 Dallara, having been entered for the non-points race on Australia's Gold Coast.

Piloting the Delphi National Guard machine in late October's Nikon Indy 300 will be Wheldon's first appearance in a Panther car since he finished 15th at Texas Motor Speedway on 15 September 2002. Since then, the Briton has gone on to win 15 races - including the Indianapolis 500 and leading to an IndyCar championship - with Andretti Green Racing and Target Chip Ganassi Racing, before announcing that he was to return to Panther in place of Vitor Meira for 2009.

“We look at this as a great way for our team to get a jump on the 2009 season with Dan,” team co-owner John Barnes explained, “Our #4 crew is going to remain intact and we've got some great people that are looking forward to working with a driver of Wheldon's calibre.

"Having the opportunity to run the Australia race next month is a tremendous opportunity for all of us to get familiar with one another. Our goals for next season are high, and the work we're putting in to meet our goals of winning races, the league championship and the Indy 500 have already begun.”

Wheldon will test with the team at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Monday, and again at Sebring International Raceway prior to making the trip to Australia.

“It's a great opportunity for us to work together on a race weekend and determine what the team needs from me and what I need from them,” Wheldon confirmed, “The key to the 2009 championship is coming out strong in the first five races, and the work we do now will help us accomplish that.

"In just the first few days I've spent with the team, I must say I'm impressed with how hard the guys at Panther work and the attention to detail I've seen with the racecars. I know the #4 car is very special to John Barnes, and I'm very much looking forward to the opportunity to race the Delphi National Guard car, starting in Australia.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Indy Racing League.  4-6 July 2008. Camping World Grand Prix at the Glen. Watkins Glen International Raceway. Watkins Glen, New York. Dan Wheldon.
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
Esteban Gutierrez IndyCar Detroit
Graham Rahal Detroit IndyCar 2017
Takuma Sato Detroit IndyCar
Graham Rahal Detroit
Detroit Indy Conor Daly

Join 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 - 2017 Crash Media Group

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