National Guard Team Looks for Continuity with Briscoe as Aussie Returns for Consecutive Weekends

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - (July 10, 2013) – National Guard Panther Racing driver Ryan Briscoe will return to the cockpit of the No. 4 National Guard Chevrolet this weekend during the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader, the first time the team’s new pilot has driven for the team on consecutive race weekends. Since Panther made a driver change following the Indianapolis 500 it has rotated between Briscoe and Spaniard Oriol Servia, but the team is poised to have the former Team Penske driver make his fifth – and sixth – starts of the season for the team this weekend.

"I’m excited about this weekend in Toronto,” Briscoe said. “We’re rolling into this weekend with a little more knowledge of each other with the continuity of having run last weekend together in Pocono and this being our second street course race. I had a chance to come to the race shop this week and spend some more time with the engineers, which was nice. Toronto’s always a mixed bag of a race, but hopefully everything will go smoothly and safely.”

Briscoe has been bouncing back-and-forth between Panther’s No. 4 car and his commitments to Level 5 Motorsports in ALMS; during the Milwaukee weekend Briscoe came back-and-forth from France while preparing for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and last weekend the Aussie missed IndyCar practice and qualifications while in Lime Rock, where he won the P2 class with co-driver Scott Tucker. His previous starts with the team came during the Chevrolet Duels in Detroit during the first week of June and at the Milwaukee Mile.

This weekend will also mark the debut of standing starts, a first for the IndyCar Series.

“Racing in Europe I always did standing starts, but the last time I did it was running V-8 Supercars last year when I went down there and ran two races,” Briscoe explained. “It’s certainly going to be more difficult in the IndyCar with the hand clutch, but it’s new for everybody. There are lots of people who’ve never done them or have little experience doing them, but it will be the same for all of us doing it for the first time in IndyCar.”

History Lesson, Take 1: Panther Racing on the Streets of Toronto:
Panther Racing has captured three-consecutive Top Ten finishes on the Streets of Toronto with two different drivers; Dan Wheldon secured a tenth-place finish here in 2010 and JR Hildebrand drove from 22nd to eighth-place in 2011 and from 15th to seventh-place in 2012. Panther has completed 339 of a possible 340 laps in its four Toronto starts and its No. 4 National Guard entry has been running at the conclusion of each of its starts. Last season Hildebrand led one lap while teams were cycling through pit stops. Panther’s best start at Toronto is 15th, captured by both Wheldon (2010) and Hildebrand (2012).

History Lesson, Take 2: Ryan Briscoe on the Streets of Toronto:
Briscoe has scored two Top Ten and one Top Five finish in his four career starts at Toronto, all of which coming while driving for Team Penske. His best finish was a runner-up result in his first start on the tight street course in 2009. He also captured a seventh-place result in 2011. He’s also started inside the Top Ten here on two occasions; a seventh-place start (2010) and a tenth-place qualification effort (2011).

Race Broadcast Info:
This weekend’s double-header action in Toronto will be held on July 13-14, with both races broadcast on NBC Sports Network at 3:00 pm (ET), with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network, XM/Sirius Channel 211. Practice, qualifying and race coverage is also available on the IndyCar Mobile app from Verizon. -