Over thirty years after John Barnes worked with Chris Mower's father at Vel's Parnelli Jones Racing, the Panther Racing co-owner has announced that his team has signed the open-wheel veteran as its new team manager.

Mower, who most recently worked in the same position with Conquest Racing, brings a strong family lineage and over 20 years of experience in the racing industry to the team ahead of the 2009 season.

"Chris brings a great depth of knowledge and experience to our team, and we're excited about having him," Barnes said. "What impressed me most is that he's incredibly organised, has a sound mechanical mind and has been raised in this business. He's somebody that's going to make our entire team better and operate efficiently during a time when our expectations are very high."

Mower started his new position with the team on Monday morning and will take the role vacated by Ron Catt, who moved to a more hands-on role with the team's Indy Lights operation - a role he will now continue in following Mower's appointment.

"I am extremely excited about my new position here at Panther Racing and I am impressed with the crew John has accumulated here over the past ten years," Mower said. "I am really happy to be part of the team and I am definitely looking forward to the 2009 season.

"Working with Dan Wheldon will be the icing on the cake as I have raced against him many times in the past and it is nice to know he is in our #4 car. John and Jane have given me a fantastic opportunity here and I don't plan on wasting it!"

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