Tony Kanaan's loss will be JR Hildebrand's gain. Panther Racing announced via Twitter on Wednesday that it has signed highly rated engineer Michael Cannon. "He will join Technical Director David Cripps to help strengthen our entire staff," the team stated.
Cannon joined KV Racing Technology shortly before the season began to work with its new recruit Tony Kanaan, coming over from HVM Racing where he had worked the past four seasons, most recently with Simona de Silvestro. Despite apparent success for the Kanaan/Cannon combination, however, the engineer left the team in mid-August, saying that he and Kanaan had "failed to gel."
“We'd go for a session or two and things clicked, then things went off," Cannon told RACER two weeks ago. "We worked well together, then it was contentious. It changed every session. Now, he's remarkably experienced, and his skills in the race are impressive in terms of getting things set up. But the practice and qualifying sessions were awful rocky.”
Cannon's arrival at Panther figures to boost Hildebrand's prospects of winning the Rookie of the Year title. Hildebrand leads the rookie standings, but Newman/Haas Racing's James Hinchcliffe has closed to within three points of him with four races to go.