IPS: Panther Racing names 2007 partner

Panther Partners with IUPUI on 2007 Indy Pro Series Effort 2003 IPS Champs Return With Student-Run Race Team INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 2, 2006) -- Panther Racing announced today plans to partner with Indiana University-Purdue University ...

Panther Partners with IUPUI on 2007 Indy Pro Series Effort
2003 IPS Champs Return With Student-Run Race Team

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 2, 2006) -- Panther Racing announced today plans to partner with Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) on a single-car effort during the 2007 Indy Pro Series season. The team will be comprised primarily of IUPUI students with management and engineering support provided by Panther officials.

"We could not be more excited about our partnership with IUPUI for the 2007 Indy Pro Series season," Panther co-owner John Barnes said. "This commitment, in addition to our announcement in May to open the Panther Education Center, is going to help young students get an up-close and real-life experience in motorsports. We have a mission at Panther to make a positive difference in people's lives, and IUPUI is helping us do that."

"This is a first of a kind opportunity for university students interested in the motorsports industry," said H. Oner Yurtseven, dean of the Purdue School of Engineering & Technology at IUPUI. "Not only will IUPUI's engineering technology students have the opportunity to apply what they are learning in the Motorsports Engineering Technology Certificate program to a real life situation, they will also be involved in day-to-day planning and decision making activities."

Panther and IUPUI are in the process of securing sponsors and other funding for the project.

This announcement marks Panther's return to the Indy Pro Series, a series they dominated en route to the 2003 championship. That season, with Englishman Mark Taylor driving, the No. 4 team captured victory in seven of the 11 races in which they competed, won four poles and led 425 laps. Brent Harvey, who was Taylor's Race Engineer during the championship season, will help oversee the IPS team's engineering department. Harvey is currently a Support Engineer on Vitor Meira's No. 4 Panther Honda.

The race team will consist of internship positions for IUPUI students in the areas of engineering, technology, business, communication, tourism, management and other areas of study at the university. With direction from Panther officials in the areas of engineering, management, the IUPUI Indy Pro Series team will compete in the full season schedule with a professional driver.

"This is going to be an amazing opportunity for IUPUI students to participate in one of the highest levels of motorsports," Barnes said. "These students aren't going to be standing around watching; they're going to be the ones building the racecars. We feel like this is going to be unlike any other internship a college or university can offer. These students are going to be qualified to work in our profession the minute they graduate from IUPUI."

Anticipated growth in Indiana's motorsports industry prompted the establishment of IUPUI's new Motorsports Engineering Technology Certificate program which has opened the doors for student internships.

"Motorsports is a sophisticated industry, generating billions of dollars in revenue," said IUPUI Chancellor Charles Bantz. "It needs highly skilled and talented people from accountants to mechanics to marketing professionals. Internships provide students the opportunity to experience the industry and to apply their studies everyday."

The partnership provides a wonderful opportunity for liberal arts students to benefit from the investment that the State of Indiana has made in motorsports, said Robert White, dean of the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI.

"Our students, with expertise in areas that include writing, editing, and public speaking, the economics of sport, public history, and a host of other areas, will bring much to this relationship with Panther," White said.

IUPUI is an urban research and academic health sciences campus, with 22 schools and academic units which grant degrees in over 200 programs from both Indiana University and Purdue University. The school was created in 1969 as a partnership by and between Indiana and Purdue Universities, with IU as the managing partner. With over 29,000 students, IUPUI is the second-largest campus in the Indiana University state-wide system.

Panther does not plan to announce its driver for the 2007 IPS season until the offseason.


Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Mark Taylor , John Barnes , Vitor Meira
Teams Panther Racing