Having driven for one legendary name in Paul Newman, JR Hildebrand will add another to his resume in 2009, having signed with Andretti Green Racing/AFS Racing for the 2009 Firestone Indy Lights season.
Former Newman Wachs Racing pilot Hildebrand finished fifth in last year's Indy Lights championship, taking victory at Kansas Speedway in addition to eight other top-five finishes. Prior to that, he had made just two Lights starts, both coming at Infineon Raceway in 2007, but had experience in the Atlantic championship - finishing seventh in the 2007 standings - and the Cooper Tires Formula Ford 2000 series, where he proved to be a dominant 2006 champion with a record twelve wins in 14 races.
He now steps into the team that took former Atlantic champion Raphael Matos to the 2008 Lights title and propelled the Brazilian into a full-time IndyCar Series seat for 2009.
"I'm ecstatic to have the opportunity to drive for Andretti Green Racing," the former Red Bull Driver Search nominee admitted, "It's quite clear that the team earned their spot at the top of the championship standings last year for a reason.
"I feel that the experience I gained in 2008, combined with the success the team had, that we will be one of the teams to beat next year. I look forward to working closely with the team in the off-season and think that we will undoubtedly be title contenders right from the start."
Hildebrand raced for the RLR Andersen team in 2008, and new boss Michael Andretti is delighted to have secured his services for AGR/AFS' title defence.
"We are excited to have JR join the team," he admitted, "His success in the Firestone Indy Lights Series last season showed us that he has a lot of potential, and I think he has the talent to give AFS/AGR another championship. We are looking forward to the 2009 season and having JR in the car."