Izod INdycaR SeRIeS
Late-night plotting. Is this the car that will take Castroneves to his fourth “500” crown?
FOuR ON THE FLOOR
BUT THE PENSKE AND GANASSI PAIRINGS WILL SURELY RISE AGAIN
The introduction of the Dallara DW12 was the catalyst to push Andretti Autosport back to the forefront of the IZOD IndyCar Series, and in a 15-round bout in 2013, AA took down the reigning champions, Target Chip Ganassi Racing, and perennial title contenders Team Penske. But it wasn’t a rout – Penske took six wins to Andretti’s four and Will Power was a title contender to the bitter end, while
Ganassi’s Scott Dixon should have been.
Ganassi suffered Honda engine failures
and glitches at Long Beach, Toronto and
Edmonton (Scott Dixon) and Iowa (Dario
Franchitti). To be fair, both drivers made
some errors and got caught out by
Michael Levitt/La T
be applied to Penske’s Power and Helio
Castroneves, too. By contrast, neither they
nor departed teammate Ryan Briscoe
suffered a race day engine failure all year.
The point is that between Castroneves,
Dixon, Franchitti, Power and their
The 2003 and ’08
IndyCar champ has
suffered terrible luck
in the past five years,
although he’s made
some major errors,
too (crashing while
leading in Texas last
year, for example).
But as a driver who’s
finished in the top
three in the points
standings for the past
six seasons, Dixie will
always be considered
a true title threat.
Michael Levitt/La T
respective teams, there’s no fundamental
problem, nothing that can’t be eliminated
for 2013, thus making them even stronger
title contenders than they were last season.
For Power, championship runner-up for
the past three seasons, and Dixon, who
last year out-pointed Franchitti for the
first time since 2006, the mission must
be to take full advantage of the weekends
when bad luck doesn’t strike.
For their respective teammates, it’s
different. Castroneves sometimes lacks
the consistency that’s brought Franchitti
four IndyCar titles. But until May 27, each
can be forgiven for being distracted by
another potential prize: a record-equaling
fourth Indianapolis 500 victory.
F. Peirce Williams/La T
“Darn it! Should have
gone for twin turbos...”
52 SPRING 2013
AFTER DEFEAT BY CHEVROLET IN 2012, EXPECT HPD TO FIGHT BACK HARD
HONDA ACHIEVERS AIM TO RETALIATE
Having had the IndyCar Series to itself for
six years, Honda’s 4-11 race defeat at the
hands of Chevy in 2012 was a bitter pill,
made even more difficult to swallow by
the fact that Chevy’s engine builder, Ilmor,
had previously been Honda’s partner.
But Honda Performance Development
(HPD), based in Torrance, Calif., upheld
the marque’s dominance in the Indy 500
(nine straight wins) and its developmental
pace was at least the equal of Chevrolet’s.
Michael Andretti, team owner for Chevy-
powered Andretti Autosport, says: “I give
both engine companies credit for reliability
and performance gains in the first year of
an engine formula. And I never thought
anyone had a major edge. Chevrolet, I think,
won more races because they partnered
the majority of the best teams.”
That much hasn’t changed, but HPD’s
determination to build a superior engine
certainly will have increased for 2013.