Something for National Guard AND Indy Car fans

It might not look that different from what you’ve seen on previous entries from Panther Racing, but the team’s new National Guard livery draws its inspiration from one of the most popular liveries used by Dan Wheldon during his two-year stint the team.

Crafted in concert with Peters Motorsports Designs, the team detailed the origins of the livery that JR Hildebrand will use in competition this season.

“Our biggest goal at the outset was to maintain the integrity of the National Guard livery we ran last season with JR Hildebrand, which was a design we originally debuted in a one-off capacity with Dan Wheldon at Indianapolis in 2010,” said Mike Kitchel, Panther’s head of PR.

“We’ve been fortunate over the years in that the Guard has allowed us to be very creative with our car designs, but due to the popularity of the ACU camo-black-red design, it’s been our goal to build up the equity in that livery as we transition to the Dallara DW12 chassis.”

Rather than copy Wheldon’s Indy 2010 livery directly, Kitchel says team owner John Barnes asked for a few subtle changes to fit the new-look Indy car.

“One of the primary changes that John Barnes initiated was adding more black to the car, especially the engine cover area, as it will help ensure better brand visibility to some new associate partners we’ll be adding, and all of the black areas on the car will have a carbon fiber pattern to add texture,” he said.

Kitchel also credited those who helped to finalise the 2012 design.

“I was fortunate to have two extremely talented graphic designers in Maryalice Williams (Panther) and Mike Peters (Peters Motorsports Designs) to work with on the project, and we went through tons of revisions on our templates, but once the chassis arrived in December and we could see the curves, contours and details of the car up close, the final design came together pretty quickly.

“You know how it is with car designs – everybody has an opinion – so we tried to take bits and pieces of everybody’s ideas and make something that ultimately the National Guard and IZOD IndyCar Series fans would enjoy. The feedback so far has been stellar.”

by Buford Balony

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