Power’s three straight
wins, including a
charge through the
field at Long Beach
(LEFT and BELOW)
return to IndyCar.
win in the season
opener (BELOW LEFT),
Chevy was unbeaten
after four rounds.
Team Penske drivers took pole and
victory for the opening four races,
the latter two against increasing
odds. Helio Castroneves gave
Chevrolet a memorable victory first
time out at St. Petersburg, with Will
Power winning the next three. The
Aussie won from 12th on the grid
on the streets of Long Beach, after
Chevrolet changed all its engines for
an update to improve reliability, thus
incurring a 10-place grid penalty.
A STUNNING START
TO THE CAMPAIGN
(Penske’s three-time Indy 500 winner)
We arrived in St. Petersburg and
discovered in qualifying that Chevrolet was
already ahead of expectations, which was
great! They took five of the top six places
on the grid. Winning the race, I was happy
for several reasons. 1) I know that when
you start a season strong, you’re probably
going to battle for the championship, and
that’s what I wanted very bad. 2) I was
thrilled for my guys, because 2011 had
been a horrible season for us. 3) It was the
first win back for Chevy, and right from
the start of Penske and Chevrolet joining
forces, I felt it would be a good marriage!
GOSSELIN That was the most intense
weekend in terms of development work.
Every weekend the Chevrolet Ilmor guys
worked on drivability maps, anything to
it came on the calendar right after
victorious past with
back as far as
1967, when he
entered a Camaro
in the Trans-Am
series for Mark
won the ’ 68 and
Barber, where we’d gone from ninth to
win. But Long Beach was one of the first
races where we really saw Chevrolet’s
superior fuel economy come into play.
POWER Yeah, Chevy definitely had the
edge on fuel mileage. You can never be
sure, but I think the Chevy gave me an
extra lap of fuel to play with.
’ 69 titles.
GOSSELIN The call made against Ryan
when he collided with [Takuma] Sato on
the last lap and dropped us from third to
sixth was totally wrong in my opinion.
In IndyCar racing,
Penske cars took
the 1988 and ’ 89
I remember thinking, “I hope those lost
points don’t come back to haunt us.”
F. Peirce Williams/LAT
CART titles with
Danny Sullivan and
respectively, as well
as five Indy 500s –
We were also worried when Honda got
the rules break regarding its turbo inlet in
time for Brazil. At Sao Paulo, the Ganassi
cars and [Simon] Pagenaud were on par,
and their fuel consumption improved, too.
Rick Mears in ’ 88
and ’ 91, Fittipaldi in
’ 89 and ’ 93 and
Helio Castroneves in
Penske’s Dallara in
’02. Could the
combo take Helio to
fourth “500” in ’ 13?
PHILLIPS IndyCar was trying to ensure
parity between single and twin turbos.
That doesn’t mean “as installed in the
car,” because you could put a great turbo
in, but badly installed and it wouldn’t work.
But as far as single and twin-turbo units
compared in efficiency and performance, it
was clear they weren’t equal, so the process
was about rectifying that. Yes, it was
Honda’s choice to go the single-turbo route,
but the understanding was that if there
wasn’t parity, then parity would be provided.
There was a slightly different interpretation
on Chevrolet’s part! So they pursued their
viewpoint with all means available to them
which, as a competitor, you have to do.
try and make life better for the drivers.
But at St. Pete there was a lot of hardware
as well as software development. It was
eye-opening to go from nowhere in first
practice, to the second row of the grid in
qualifying, and then have Ryan on the
podium. We were clearly competitive.
POWER Winning at Barber after starting
ninth [a spinning car caused a red flag
during the second round of qualifying]
was a great result for us. It was kind of
like a warm-up for the grid penalty at
Long Beach! Seriously though, Chevy was
absolutely right to make that change. It
would have been stupid to risk a DNF.
FAUSTINO I didn’t assume a win was out
of the question…but maybe only because