Briscoe named as Hildebrand’s Panther replacement for Detroit

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Panther Racing has named Ryan Briscoe as the replacement for JR Hildebrand in the No. 4 National Guard Chevrolet at this weekend’s Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit.

“We couldn’t be happier to have Ryan Briscoe join Panther Racing this weekend,” said Panther Managing Partner John Barnes in a second team release. “He’s a championship-caliber 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 No. 4 National Guard Chevy at the front of the field.

“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 made a one-off IndyCar appearance for the Indianapolis 500 in Chip Ganassi Racing’s fourth entry, the No. 8 NTT Data Honda, and finished 12th. This will make for a busy month of June for the Australian, who will leave to go to Le Mans not long after this weekend to race in his first 24 Hours of Le Mans for Level 5 Motorsports in the LMP2 class.

“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,” Briscoe said. “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.”

After he had thanked Panther, Hildebrand tweeted later that he may be in another IndyCar sooner than later.

“Thank you to so many for your messages, I’d have expected to have strong weekends over the coming months, but it is what it is,” Hildebrand wrote. “I am very confident that I will land on my feet and be back on track competing with the big boys soon enough.”