Panther adds Battistini

Dillon Battistini

Panther Racing signed British driver Dillon Battistini to pilot its second Firestone Indy Lights entry. Battistini, the defending Asian Pacific Formula 3 champion, will join Brent Sherman in the team's 2008 lineup beginning with the Miami 100 on March 29.

"I've really liked Dillon from the first time I met him, and he possesses a lot of qualities you look for in a good driver," Panther team owner John Barnes said. "Obviously, he's fast and knows how to get around a racetrack, but he's also a humble guy, very well-spoken and respectful. We feel like he's going to fit right in with Panther's Firestone Indy Lights program and with his teammate Brent Sherman. We had plenty of options with drivers that could have run a second car for us, but I didn't want to do it unless we found the right guy, and Dillon is the perfect fit for Panther Racing."

Battistini , who will drive Panther's No. 15 car, passed his Firestone Indy Lights rookie test with Panther during a one-day test at Homestead-Miami Speedway's 1.5-mile oval on March 21.

"I'm extremely happy to join Panther, the guys here have treated me like family and I feel like I'm at home already," Battistini said. "Right now I'm at the start of a big learning curve because I've joined the team so late and there is a lot to catch up on, but there couldn't be a better team to work with right now."

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