Longtime Indy car engineer Tino Belli has joined Panther Racing and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing as technical director of the teams' collaborative effort with drivers Oriol Servia and JR Hildebrand.
Most recently, Belli had been with Andretti Autosport (LEFT), where he was part of an engineering team that captured four IZOD IndyCar Series championships and two Indianapolis 500 wins, for 14 years.
"I'm very much excited about the opportunity to work with Panther Racing and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing," Belli said. "I have to thank (owners) John Barnes, Dennis Reinbold and Robbie Buhl for giving me this opportunity, as both teams have very strong programs in place, and I believe collectively we can accomplish some great things together."
Belli will oversee the teams' engineering departments and the collaboration between race engineers David Cripps (Hildebrand) and Jeff Britton (Servia). Last season, Hildebrand finished a career-best 11th in the standings and is entering his third season driving Panther's No. 4 National Guard entry. Servia saw a substantial jump in performance in 2012 following Panther DRR's switch to Chevrolet power in May, including a fourth-place finish in the Indianapolis 500 and a total of four top-five finishes in the second half of the season.
"Last year we started our collaboration with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in the middle of the season and we had two separate engineering teams working on their own pathways and this is what we needed to maximize our relationship," Panther Racing's Barnes said.
Both teams are scheduled to test for the first time this year on Feb. 27 at Sonoma Raceway.