Edmonton: Panther Racing preview

Panther Racing Gets Back on Track this Weekend at Edmonton Following Off Weekend, Both IndyCar Series and Indy Lights Teams Return to Action INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - (July 21, 2009) - Panther Racing's IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights teams...

Panther Racing Gets Back on Track this Weekend at Edmonton
Following Off Weekend, Both IndyCar Series and Indy Lights Teams Return to Action

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - (July 21, 2009) - Panther Racing's IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights teams jump back into action this weekend at Edmonton's City Centre Raceway after a much-deserved weekend off. The team's National Guard IndyCar Series entry, piloted by former Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon, is preparing for its second start on the airport circuit, while the Indy Lights team will be making their first start on the 1.96-mile course.

Wheldon, currently in sixth position in the IndyCar Series championship, made his only career start on the Canadian temporary circuit last season with Ganassi Racing. He qualified in the ninth position and finished seventh. Panther finished 19th at the race there last season after former driver Vitor Meira made early contact with the tire barrier.

This weekend Wheldon will be making his 11th start of the season in the National Guard entry, and the 2005 league champion has already collected three Top Five and eight Top Ten finishes. His best finish of the season was a runner-up result in the 93rd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

The No. 4 car will be in its ABU Air Guard camouflage livery this weekend, the final time the car will be in camo this season. The team will return to the traditional red, white and blue paint scheme at Kentucky Speedway next weekend.

For Panther's Indy Lights team, Saturday's Edmonton race will be the first time the developmental league has competed on the airport circuit. Team rookies Martin Plowman and Pippa Mann will look to continue to climb the ranks in the championships standings, as both drivers have made gains in the point standings over the last few races. Currently Plowman is ranked 12th in the league, and Pippa is in the 16th spot in the standings.

Dan Wheldon, No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda

"I enjoyed the Edmonton track last year and performed well there for my first time on the track. What I liked most about the race last year was the fans who came out to support the IndyCar Series. I had heard a lot about how fans in Canada supported IndyCar racing, but it was exciting to see their support and enthusiasm. I know everybody on the National Guard Panther Racing team has continued to work hard and we hope that pays off with another good result this weekend in Edmonton."

Martin Plowman, No. 15 Firestone Indy Lights

"This weekend we are flying to Edmonton for the second leg of our 'Canadian Tour' and I'm looking forward to having the chance to see the track up close. We showed a lot of progress in Toronto but because of one reason or the other we couldn't capitalize. Despite a good weekend we couldn't turn what we had into a top result, so it's time to show it in Edmonton. We can make up a lot of ground in the points and hopefully that will start this weekend."

Pippa Mann, No. 16 Firestone Indy Lights

"I'll be racing in Edmonton with a heavy heart - the death of Henry Surtees was such a major loss for the sport and British drivers around the world. It was a black weekend for motorsports. While life goes on, it's instances like these that make all of us realize how precious life really is and how dangerous this sport we love can be. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Surtees family during this difficult time.

(On the race) "I've been watching a lot of footage from the 08' IndyCar race in Edmonton to get some of the track tricks before we get there. The track is part of an airport strip and it's different than every track we've been to so far, but it looks like a cool place to race."

-credit: pr

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Indy Lights
Drivers Dan Wheldon , Pippa Mann , Martin Plowman , Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing