With Chevrolet Engine Mileaged Out, Team Plans to Make Change Overnight for New Bowtie Spec
EDMONTON, Alberta, Canada- (July 21, 2012) – JR Hildebrand, driver of the No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevy willstart tomorrow’s Edmonton Indy in 21st position after posting a fast lap of 1:17.5285 and top speed of 103.270 mph in qualifying. The team used their qualifying session to put mileage on their Chevrolet engine, looking to meet the requirements for a replacement engine to make use of the new spec engines Chevrolet is providing.
Hildebrand and the team made multiple changes to the car throughout all three practice sessions leading up to today’s qualifying session, working with their sister team, Panther Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and driver of the No. 22 Chevy, Oriol Servia.
At last year’s race in Edmonton, Hildebrand qualified 24th and gained 15 positions to finish the race in an impressive 11th place.
JR Hildebrand, No. 4 National Guard Chevrolet:
“It’s just a frustrating position to be in because we rolled off the truck here pretty well. During qualifying we were trying really hard to mileage out the engine we were on because Chevrolet has a new spec and we think that is having an impact on our performance. We’re trying to make sure we keep this on safe and not have any issues with it before we get it out. So that’s sort of the upside to where we’re at now that we’ve managed to get to where we need to on the engine miles so we can move to the more upgraded spec of motor for tomorrow’s race.
It’s just frustrating because the guys have been working really hard and, between myself and Oriol (Servia), we’ve thrown a lot of stuff at the car. It’s all stuff that makes sense, but it just doesn’t seem to have the effect we need on the track. We tend to be pretty good at races, so we’ll just keep working away at it and see what we can do tomorrow.
This place is tough because it’s easy to make mistakes, and when you get restarts here it’s a long run down into a tight corner. I think we’ve got to be heads up and be aggressive, but we’ve got to be optimistic as well in terms of taking advantage when we have a chance to by a few guys. In practice when we were going around on black (tires) we felt like we had a reasonably good package to make the tires last. If we can really take advantage of that tomorrow we should have a good day.”
Source: Panther Racing