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“HPC Coated Panther Car Takes Second at SunTrust Indy Challenge”

HPC-Sponsored Vitor Meira of Team Panther Places 2nd in Virginia race.

Vitor Meira of Team Panther

Richmond, VA (June 24, 2006) – Vitor Meira of HPC-sponsored Team Panther racing finished 2nd this weekend at the Richmond International Raceway. After starting in sixth place, Meira passed every car on the grid during the 250 lap race except for event champion Sam Hornish, Jr.

“I think we had the best car on the racetrack tonight,” Meira said. “We just ran out of time. This car was so strong coming off of the corners. In all my years of driving I have never had a short-oval car that was as strong as the Panther car was tonight.”

Hornish of Team Penske took the lead in Turn 1 of Lap 39 and led the race for the remaining 212 laps. Meira worked his way to fourth early in the race and had reached third by the event’s 40th lap, when a problem with the wheel gun on their first pit stop dropped the team to tenth. But as he has in the past, Meira fought his way back to the top of the field.

“If we would have had another restart I think I could have won this race,” Meira exclaimed. “Look at what we are doing with no major sponsor against the big guys. And the thing is, we are only getting started. (W)e had the car to beat today. ”
 
Meira finished this year’s Indianapolis 500 in 10th place. Sunday marked his third Top Five finish of the season and places him in fifth place in the IndyCar Series standing. The team sits just 25 points behind fourth-place Dan Wheldon. He now has 18 Top Five finishes and 32 Top Ten finishes in his career.

HPC began working with Team Panther in 1999. The international coatings company worked closely with the team’s engineers to utilize HPC’s HiperCoat Extreme™ exhaust coating for heat management and HPC’s friction reducing coatings on internal engine parts to maximize engine and car performance. HPC coatings have been used by 14 Indianapolis 500 winners and helped power 2006 Indy 500 winner Sam Hornish, Jr. to his two IRL Championships in 2001 and 2002.

Born in Brazil, Meira began driving in the IRL in 2002 for Andretti/Green Racing team. The next year he signed on with Rahal Letterman Racing where he was awarded the inaugural IRL Rising Star award.  In 2005 he signed on with Team Panther and has continued to move up in the Indy Racing League’s rankings. Meira and the Panther Racing team will travel next to the Kansas Speedway where Meira is favored to win.

HPC congratulates Vitor Meira and Team Panther racing for their 2nd place finish at the Richmond International Speedway.  

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About HPC
High Performance Coatings, Inc. has been an integral part of the automotive motorsport industry since 1982. The company has coated parts for over 20 Motorsport Hall of Fame inductees and 4 land and air speed world record holders. This rich racing heritage has led HPC to be nicknamed ‘The Choice of World Champions.’

HPC is the leader in innovative coating technology. HPC develops, manufactures and applies coating (surface treatment) solutions for thermal management, anti-corrosion, friction reduction, and color appearance. Now in its twenty-fourth year, the company’s coatings are used by legends in the motorsport racing world as well as by the US Military and the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA). HPC is a market leader in internal and external engine parts coatings in automotive and diesel engines. At HPC, there IS a difference…and the difference is experience.

Links:

Team Panther Racing

HPC Automotive Racing