Ryan Briscoe returning to Panther for Milwaukee IndyFest

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Ryan Briscoe will return to the cockpit of the No. 4 National Guard Chevrolet for Panther Racing at this weekend’s Milwaukee IndyFest (Sat., 4 pm ET, NBC Sports Network) after racing for the team a week and a half ago in the Detroit doubleheader event.

“I felt like the team gelled really well when we worked together in Detroit and I’m sure we’ll be able to pick right up where we left off this weekend in Milwaukee,” Briscoe said in a team statement. “It’s obviously a very challenging racetrack and you need to get things right but Panther’s always had a great oval package and I’m excited to jump back into the National Guard Chevy and get back at it this weekend.”

Briscoe has made five career IZOD IndyCar Series starts at the Milwaukee Mile and won his first race in the series there in 2008 as a member of Team Penske.

In the same statement, Panther managing partner John Barnes indicated that the team was working toward landing Briscoe’s services for more IndyCar events this season that can work around his full-time commitments in the American Le Mans Series.

“We’re working on getting him signed for several other races this season, so hopefully we’ll have that finalized in the short term future,” Barnes said.

In his first run with Panther at Detroit, Briscoe posted a result of 21st in the first Dual race (a late spin scratched a potential Top-10 result) and then finished 13th in Dual 2 after being collected in a Lap 28 multi-car pileup that was triggered by contact between Sebastien Bourdais and Will Power.

Oriol Servia, who drove the Panther car last weekend at Texas, will step back into the No. 4 for the Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedway on June 23.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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