IRL: Motegi: Panther Racing preview

Network LIVE Brings New Orange Livery for Japan Race Panther and Driver Vitor Meira Break from Traditional Pennzoil Yellow MOTEGI, Japan -- Panther Racing's championship-winning No. 4 car will have an all-new look Saturday in the Japan Indy...

Network LIVE Brings New Orange Livery for Japan Race
Panther and Driver Vitor Meira Break from Traditional Pennzoil Yellow

MOTEGI, Japan -- Panther Racing's championship-winning No. 4 car will have an all-new look Saturday in the Japan Indy 300 at Twin Ring Motegi. Network LIVE, one of Panther's newest associate sponsors, will be on the sidepods of the team's Honda-powered Dallara this weekend for the debut of the bright orange and black No. 4 Honda.

Driver Vitor Meira is looking to add to his strong finish in St. Petersburg, where he climbed from a qualification spot of 12th and finished fifth. That was the second consecutive year Meira finished fifth in St. Pete. The strong result pulled the Panther team into a tie for 10th place in the IndyCar Series standings.

In the 2005 Japan race, then-Panther driver Tomas Scheckter held a commanding lead until running out of fuel with just over one lap remaining in the event. Scheckter powered past Dan Wheldon on the 151st lap of the race and held the top spot until the No. 4 ran out of fuel less than three miles from the race's conclusion. He finished 10th.

This weekend will mark one of the few times the Panther car has not been primarily yellow. The original car the team used in 1998 was yellow and black, until 2000 when the all-yellow Pennzoil livery was put in place.

The team broke from that style for one race (Kansas Speedway) in 2003, when the car design was altered slightly to promote the movie Terminator 3, staring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Last season the car was platinum for a select number of races -- including the 2005 Indianapolis 500 - when Pennzoil was promoting its Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic motor oil. Panther Racing's last victory, this past June at Texas Motor Speedway, was in the Platinum livery.

The Japan Indy 300 will be broadcast live on the IMS Radio Network, and XM Satellite Radio Channel 145 on Friday at 11:30 p.m. The television broadcast will be Saturday at noon (EDT) on ESPN.

Vitor Meira Quote:

"I can tell you that everybody at Panther Racing is very excited to get back on track and continue the great weekend we had in St. Pete. I remember how strong the No. 4 car was in Japan last year and we've got a great baseline to start from this weekend. The team is going to be running up front on Saturday, but wherever we are on the racetrack, that orange Network LIVE car is going to be easy to pick out of a crowd. To be honest, regardless of what color the car is, I know if the Panther Pack is putting it together and it's got a Honda motor, it's going to be fast."

-www.pantherracing.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Dan Wheldon , Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing