Panther Racing signs another foreigner for Firestone Indy Lights
Martin Plowman has signed with Panther Racing to drive one of the team’s Firestone Indy Lights entries for the 2009 season.
Plowman, a native of Burton-Upon-Trent, England, is following in the footsteps of English drivers who have successfully driven Firestone Indy Lights cars for Panther: Mark Taylor, who won seven races en route to the 2003 series title, and Dillon Battistini, who won four races as a rookie in 2008.
“It’s a real honor and a fantastic opportunity to join the Panther Racing team,” said Plowman, who competed as a factory-supported driver for Volkswagen in the Formula 3 Euro Series in 2008. “Moving up to the Firestone Indy Lights series will be a big step for me on many levels, as I will have to face driving on an oval for the very first time. Everything will be new to me, from the car to all of the circuits and even the culture and way of life as I will be moving to live in Indianapolis shortly.”
Plowman, 20, has made 14 starts in the Formula 3 Euro Series, which has produced drivers such as IndyCar Series standout Ryan Briscoe and current Formula 1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.
Plowman began karting at age 8 and won the 2000 British Yamaha Open title at 12. He went on to become the youngest winner of the French Open International Championship in 2003 before winning the 2004 Asia Pacific Championship. In 2006 and 2007, Plowman raced in the Formula Renault 2.0 Italy series and the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup, where he amassed four podium finishes and a pole position.
“It’s a really exciting time,” Plowman said. “I’m looking forward to learning something new every day. After meeting the Panther Racing crew, I was really impressed by the whole team’s passion for motorsport and to succeed, so I can’t wait to be a part of that.”
Panther ranks second all-time in Firestone Indy Lights victories. In 58 career starts, Panther has amassed 13 wins, seven pole positions, 29 top-five and 35 top-10 finishes.
“We’re extremely proud of the success our Indy Lights program has enjoyed over the past several seasons,” team co-owner John Barnes said. “We certainly feel like Martin is a tremendous addition to our program and we’re excited to see him in a Panther car very soon. He’s a young driver with a lot of upside, and the team is looking forward to helping him develop into a great open-wheel competitor.”