JR Hildebrand has left Panther Racing by a 'mutual' agreement today after three years with the team. The Californian had been with Panther since replacing Dan Wheldon at the start of the 2011 season, completing 37 races with with the team, scoring a best finish of second at the 2011 Indianapolis 500, a race he had been on course to win before a last lap crash handed the win to Wheldon.
Since then, the 2009 Indy Lights champion has only managed a best finish of fourth place, again in 2011 at Iowa.
Hildebrand's final race for Panther was last weekend's Indy 500, a race that ended in disaster for the 25 year-old as he crashed out on lap four.
He will be relaced for this weekend's double header at Detroit by Ryan Briscoe with DRR refugee Oriol Servia expected to take the seat for the remainder of the season. Legality issues regarding the disolving of the Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold partnership keeping the Spaniard out of the car for the upcoming round.
Briscoe, winner of 8 IndyCar races finished 12th last week at Indianapolis. The Australian was racing as a one off for Chip Ganassi after being let go by Penske at the end of last season. He is currently competing full time in the ALMS for Level 5 Motorsports.
Picture credits - IndyCar Media