Season Preview 2012: IndyCars

By on Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The finale to the 2011 IndyCar Series received the attention of the worldwide media yet it was for all of the wrong reasons. As the chequered flag fell in Las Vegas it wasn’t to celebrate the crowning of the champion, but rather to bring to an end a five lap tribute to Dan Wheldon, who had succumbed to ‘unsurvivable injuries’ hours earlier.

While the tragic events of Las Vegas will never be forgotten, the 2012 season sees the start of a new era for IndyCars. Nevertheless, Wheldon’s legacy remains in the form of Dallara’s new DW12 cars, named in honour of the double Indy winner.

The 2012 season sees the introduction of the ICONIC rules: Innovative, Competitive, Open-Wheel, New, Industry-Relevant and Cost-Effective. IndyCar rejected proposals from DeltaWing, Lola and Swift and instead stayed with Dallara. Engines will be 2.4 litre V6 supercharged engines, producing up to 700bhp and supplied by Chevrolet, Honda and Lotus.

The line-up

Chip Ganassi Racing retains its four drivers from 2011, including reigning champion Dario Franchitti. The Scot secured his fourth title in Las Vegas last year although could come under increasing pressure this season courtesy of a reduction on the number of oval races. Eleven of the sixteen rounds will be held on road or street circuits and this could play into the hands of Australian Will Power. The Penske racer has pushed Franchitti for the past two seasons but fallen at the final hurdle. Now recovered from injuries sustained in Las Vegas, Power will be hoping to be third time lucky and claim a maiden title. Perhaps the most high profile move is that of Rubens Barrichello. The 39 year old Brazilian, who started 322 F1 races, was ousted from Williams and joins good friend Tony Kanaan at KV Racing. Former F1 winner Jean Alesi will attempt to qualify for the Indy500.

AJ. Foyt Enterprises (Honda)

  • 14. Mike Conway (GB)
Andretti Autosport (Chevrolet)
  • 25. Sebastian Saavedra (Col); Indy500 only
  • 26. Marco Andretti (USA)
  • 27. James Hinchcliffe (Can)
  • 28. Ryan Hunter-Reay (USA)
Chip Ganassi Racing (Honda)
  • 9. Scott Dixon (NZ)
  • 10. Dario Franchitti (GB)
  • 38. Graham Rahal (USA)
  • 83. Charlie Kimball (USA)
Dale Coyne Racing (Honda)
  • 18. Justin Wilson (GB)
  • 19. James Jakes (GB)
Ed Carpenter Racing (Chevrolet)
  • 20. Ed Carpenter
KV Racing Technology (Chevrolet)
  • 5. EJ Viso (Ven)
  • 8. Rubens Barrichello (Brz)
  • 11. Tony Kanaan (Brz)
Lotus Dragon Racing (Lotus)
  • 6. Katherine Legge (GB)
  • 7. Sebastien Bourdais (Fr)
Lotus Dreyer and Reinbold Racing (Lotus)
  • 22. Oriol Servia (Esp)
Lotus HVM Racing (Lotus)
  • 78. Simona de Silvestro (CH)
Panther Racing (Chevrolet)
  • 4. JR Hildebrand (USA)
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (Honda)
  • 15. Takuma Sato (J)
  • 30. Luca Filippi (I) - from Indianapolis onwards
Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports (Honda)
  • 77. Simon Pagenaud (Fr)
Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (Honda)
  • 67. Josef Newgarden (USA)
Team Barracuda - BHA (Lotus)
  • 98. Alex Tagliani (Can)
Team Penske
  • 2. Ryan Briscoe (Aus)
  • 3. Helio Castroneves (Brz)
  • 12. Will Power (Aus)

Calendar

  • March 25 – Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Streets of St. Petersburg
  • April 1 – Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, Barber Motorsports Park
  • April 15 – Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, Streets of Long Beach
  • April 29 – Sao Paolo Indy 300, Streets of Sao Paolo
  • May 27 – Indianapolis 500, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
  • June 3 – Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, The Raceway at Belle Isle Grand Prix
  • June 9 – Firestone 550, Texas Motor Speedway (2 races)
  • June 16 – Milwaukee IndyFest, The Milwaukee Mile
  • June 23 – Iowa Corn Indy 250, Iowa Speedway
  • July 8 – Honda Indy Toronto, Streets of Toronto
  • July 22 – Edmonton Indy, Edmonton City Centre Airport
  • August 5 – Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
  • August 18 – Streets of Qingdao
  • August 26 – Indy Grand Prix of Sonomoa, Infineon Raceway
  • September 2 – Baltimore Grand Prix, Streets of Baltimore
  • September 15 – Auto Club Speedway

 

St. Petersburg Preview

  • Race 1 of 16, Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
  • Location - Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Date - Sunday, March 25th, 6pm GMT
  • 1.8 Mile Street Course; 100 Laps / 180 Miles
  • 2011 Pole Sitter -#12 Will Power - 1:01.9625 / 104.579 MPH
  • 2011 Winner - #10 Dario Franchitti
  • Broadcast on abc and Sky Sports F1 HD

2011 highlights

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiObU788_yo


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