Looks like a lot of questions recently on the Panther Racing Q&A make it sound like PJ Chesson is a heavy favorite to be Vitor Meira’s teammate in 2008.
Q. If you guys signed PJ Chesson, which is the hot rumor, would he be replacing Vitor in the #4 car?
A. (12-12-07) Absolutely not. If we were to sign Chesson, he would be a teammate to Vitor. It sure would be an interesting combo, wouldn't it? But Vitor and PJ get along well and if - this is a big if - we were to eventually sign Chesson, we believe it would be a strong combo.
Q. When does Panther next plan to test? At what track and which driver is planned to test?
A. (12-10-07) We have tentatively scheduled a test for next Monday and Tuesday (Dec. 17-18) at Sebring in our IPS car. One of the drivers scheduled to test is a potential driver for our second IndyCar Series entry. The other we'll have to discuss later.
Q. Which driver are you targeting to drive the #55 in 08?
A. (12-10-07) We can't tell you what driver(s) we're targeting, but I can say we're not targeting No. 55 as the car's number anymore. Look for a new digit to join the historic No. 4 next season.
Q. When does Panther anticipate being able to announce the second Indycar driver and sponsor, and IPS driver(s)?
A. (11-26-07) We're close. But close doesn't pay the bills in this league.
Q. When will the 2008 driver lineup be finalized and announced? Are AJ Foyt IV and PJ Chesson in the discussion for the 2nd car?
A. (11-26-07) Usually in motorsports the contract is signed, then you quickly prepare to make an announcement. We haven't made an announcement because those contracts aren't signed. There are still several drivers in the discussion for the second car, and that's not to rule out PJ or AJ - both of whom we like.
The word is The Illustrated Man is in fact the guy in the Sebring test next week, which would make sense if Panther is testing an Indy Pro car on a road course for a prospective IndyCar driver. PJ doesn’t have much twisty experience, so might as well have him try things in the less expensive equipment, right?
UPDATE: No sooner is this posted than a simultaneous missive is sent by the braintrust at TrackSide Online confirming this. Additionally mentioned as testing for Panther is everyone's favorite Tree Hugger.
(Leilani) Munter is pretty much trying out for the Panther IPS seat. That is one of the prime seats in the Pro Series and if she has the funding, that could be a great platform to evaluate her true talent level.Umlauts, rejoice!