Motorsport News - US
Power paces first day of Mid Ohio practice
6th August 2012
Team Penske's Will Power set the pace as IZOD IndyCar Series teams began preparations for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.
Power, who is third in the championship standings entering Round 12, had a quick lap of 1 minute, 6.8632 seconds - which was just off the IZOD IndyCar Series lap time record on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Scott Dixon, who has won three of the past five races at Mid-Ohio in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, was second quick (1:07.0213) and Marco Andretti was third (1:07.0644) in the No. 26 Team RC Cola car. Simon Pagenaud was fourth (1:07.1063) in the No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports car, and Graham Rahal finished fifth (1:07.1088) in the No. 38 Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing car.
James Jakes, was sixth quick in the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America entry and rookie Josef Newgarden was seventh in the No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing car. The top 20 cars were separated by less than a second.
DAY 1 NOTEBOOK:
The IZOD IndyCar Series will compete in Honda Indy 200, an 85-lap race at 1 p.m. (ET) on Sunday. The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda, the entry level step of the Mazda Road to Indy Ladder, will compete twice this weekend. Race #1 is slated for 4:15 p.m. Saturday, while Race #2 will take place at 11:10 a.m. on Sunday.
The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio will be the 28th Indy car race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and the sixth IZOD IndyCar Series event. Scott Dixon is the defending race and pole winner.
The CART and Champ Car held 22 Indy car races in Mid-Ohio from 1980-2003. Al Unser won the pole for the first Indy car race at Mid-Ohio in 1980. Johnny Rutherford, who will drive the Safety Car for the IZOD IndyCar Series this weekend, won the race.
Scott Dixon is the only driver to win at Mid-Ohio three times, winning the races in 2007, 2009 and 2011. Michael Andretti, Helio Castroneves, Emerson Fittipaldi, Bobby Rahal, Al Unser Jr., and Helio Castroneves have all won at Mid-Ohio twice. Past winners Dixon, Castroneves, Ryan Briscoe (2008) and Dario Franchitti (2010) are entered in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio
There have been four different pole winners in the previous five races. Helio Castroneves won the pole in 2007 and 2008. Other pole winners entered in this year's race are: Dario Franchitti (1998, 1999), Ryan Briscoe (2009) Will Power (2010) and Scott Dixon (2011).
Ten (10) drivers have won the race from the pole - Mario Andretti (1984), Bobby Rahal (1985), Roberto Guerrero (1987), Teo Fabi (1989), Michael Andretti (1990 and 1991), Al Unser Jr. (1994), Alex Zanardi (1996), Patrick Carpentier (2002), Paul Tracy (2003) and Scott Dixon (2011).
Three drivers entered in the event - Rubens Barrichello, Josef Newgarden and Giorgio Pantano - will make their first attempt to start an IZOD IndyCar Series race at Mid-Ohio. Ed Carpenter will make his 125th start in the IZOD IndyCar Series this weekend.
Live timing and scoring reports from the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio are available on the Internet at www.indycar.com. The live timing and scoring module provides statistical information, including track segment speeds, lap information and much more.
Feature stories, reports, driver quotes and notes, and photos will be posted on the site each day. More detailed information, including media advisories and VNF coordinates, is available at media.indycar.com.
Target Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon will be featured on select Kellogg's brand packaging nationwide starting Aug. 19. The pair, who along with Juan Montoya, has given Target and Chip Ganassi Racing 45 career wins, including four in the Indianapolis 500 and six championships, will now be featured on limited-edition Kellogg's foods, including Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, Pop-Tarts, Rice Krispies Treats and Vrooms cereal, which will all be sold for a limited time only at Target stores.
Through the Target Racing relationship, partner Kellogg's will activate its relationship away from the race track for the first time with driver imagery on packaging that will include driver images, tidbits, fun facts and games - all tying into an on-pack sweepstakes where one lucky fan will win the "Ultimate Racing Experience" prize package and attend a NASCAR or INDYCAR race in 2013.
The Target Racing drivers will be featured on the following Kellogg's foods: Kellogg's Frosted Flakes cereal (15oz.) with Dario Franchitti, Rice Krispies Treats (10ct.) with Juan Pablo Montoya, Vrooms cereal (10.9oz.) with three versions that feature each of the drivers individually, Pop-Tarts Frosted Strawberry (12ct.) with Juan Pablo Montoya and Pop-Tarts Brown Sugar Cinnamon (12ct.) with Scott Dixon. Vrooms cereal is a unique cereal/box that was created specifically for the Target drivers.
RICK SIMINGTON (Kellogg's Sr. National Account Executive): "We were very excited to work with Target to bring together our two winning brands, great products and an exciting program that will resonate with Target guests."
DAN GRIFFIS (Director of Events and Strategic Partnerships at Target): "This is an exciting partnership for Kellogg's, Target and our guests. We are thrilled to bring our race car drivers to our shelves, exclusively at Target."
DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Target Honda): "It's a lot of fun for me personally to have a partnership with Kellogg's. I love their products and it's really cool and exciting to be on the cover of a cereal box!"
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Honda): "I think it's great that Kellogg's is stepping out of the box and using Dario, Juan and myself in their packaging this season. The Target race program continues to run strong now at 23 years and counting. The Kellogg's partnership is just another way companies are able to leverage their investments in our racing programs."
After a great response to the competition to design the helmet which IZOD IndyCar Series driver Justin Wilson wear at the Grand Prix of Baltimore, and the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and Wilson have selected a design by 14-year-old Janelle Sowders of Harrogate, Tennessee.
After the end of the season, Justin's Grand Prix of Baltimore helmet will be raffled off to one lucky winner. Raffle tickets will be on sale starting today through October 15, 2012 for $20 with proceeds benefiting the IDA. For more information and to purchase raffle tickets, please visit www.justinshelmet.com.
JUSTIN WILSON (No. 18 Sonny's BBQ Honda): "I thought Janelle's design was unique and had a lot of interesting elements. I really liked the race car on the side and its colorful exhaust as well as the strong 'never give up' slogan and the IDA's logo on the front," said Justin who was named IDA Ambassador in July. "Overall I thought Janelle did a great job to integrate everything and it was really well drawn too. I can't wait to wear this in Baltimore. There were a lot of excellent designs and it was really tough to pick the five finalists. I would have been very proud to wear any one of them in Baltimore and choosing an overall winner wasn't easy! I'd like to thank everyone who submitted an entry; it's obvious how much hard work they put into all of the designs."
The National Guard Panther Racing team is sporting its "Pink Camo" livery this weekend to honor female Soldiers in the National Guard. Ohio National Guard Adjutant General Deborah Ashenhurst is the only female TAG in the United States and will be attending this weekend's Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio along with a large group of Girl Scouts to help raise awareness about how prominent a role females play in our Nation's military.
"I'm very excited about the upcoming events tied in with the IndyCar race at Mid-Ohio this weekend," MG Ashenhurst said. "Since I'm the only female Adjutant General, it is perfect to focus on the contributions of women in the military and society. The fact JR Hildebrand will be driving the Pink Camo IndyCar during the race is particularly significant. I love that Mr. Barnes is (bringing) the Girls Scouts to participate. It will give me a chance to share with them some lessons I've learned and perhaps help them understand the significance of setting goals and setting themselves up for success in life, as well as having a great time watching the race events."
Panther originally debuted its Pink Camo livery last year at Kentucky Speedway, and the paint scheme was greeted with rave reviews. Hildebrand will be wearing a pink race suit this weekend to highlight the team's effort. Panther also employs the only female over-the-wall pit crewmember in the IndyCar Series, as team mechanic Anna Chatten does the air-jack during pit stops for the National Guard team.
"Running the Pink Camo last year was a big hit with a lot of people," Hildebrand said. "With all the work we're doing with the Ohio National Guard and also Hiring Our Heroes, Panther is bringing attention not only to the role of females in the military, but also how some of the unemployment issues we're fighting is even more dramatic with women returning home. It's nice to be able to show the efforts and sacrifices the women in the active duty because people often look at the military as a male-dominated organization, and we want to make sure women get their due respect as well."
The Firestone Firehawk primary and alternate tire specifications are unique to the Mid-Ohio course.
The alternate tire spec features differing compound formulas for the left- and right-side tires. Firestone Racing engineers expect the lap time difference between the primary and alternate specs to be more pronounced this weekend than at most previous road/street events this season.
Of note: Alfe Heat Treating, an associate sponsor of A.J. Foyt Racing, is providing 50 tickets to the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Medina and Summit counties to the race. Race title sponsor Honda operates multiple manufacturing facilities and a major research & development center in Ohio. Combined, they employ more than 10,500 associates. The new Acura NSX is being designed and developed at Honda R&D Americas in Ohio, a first for American Honda.
IZOD IndyCar Series officials have penalized #98 Tagliani 10 grid spots for an unapproved engine change prior to this weekend's events at Mid-Ohio,
IZOD INDYCAR SERIES POST-PRACTICE QUOTES:
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): "This new DW12 Indy car feels great here - lot's more power and more downforce - you can really get after a lap. We're bloody determined to get the pole here tomorrow. I think the entire Verizon 12 Chevy Team is very happy with today and the results. The weather is going to change a lot over the next day or so. It was good to get a fast clean lap and get confidence going into tomorrow. For the rest of the year we need to win poles and win races if we are going to win the Championship, it's pretty simple. We need to run well and fast to make up ground in the points race."
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "It was OK. It is hard when you only run half a session and other people get two sets of tires. It is kind of hard to monitor how you're doing. I mean there was lots of cautions and traffic with 25 cars out there, so it's hard to get a clear lap. It was OK. We definitely have time in the car towards the end. We will come back tomorrow, we got some good changes we can make I think and get some time off of it. Fingers crossed that tomorrow goes that much better." (What part of the track do you like most?): "I think Turn 1 is going to be really fun this weekend from a drivers stand point because once you get reds in qualifications I think it will be almost flat. In the old car you never had that sort of thing. This track is all about flow. Every corn is very tricky. When you come back you've been not here and there is no rubber on the track it is very greasy. It has a funny sealant to it that makes you work extra hard to try to find that little bit of speed to get out of it. "
ED CARPENTER (No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): "We had a bit of a brake issue for two-thirds of the session today. So I really didn't get to work on the car setup too much. But we finally got it resolved towards the end of the session, and we were then able to adjust a few things on the car. At least we were able to improve the car from the test last week. So I think we are moving in the right direction. The track is much different the day of the test. It's much hotter and we have rubber from the ALMS cars on the track surface. I think the track was better last week after the AMA bike rubber was on the surface. But the biggest issue for us today were the brakes. Now we can work on getting the car better for Saturday."
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO (No. 78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy Lotus HMV Racing Lotus): "It was an OK session. We didn't really test here when it was grippy, so we're just taking it step by step. I think we have improved quite a bit. We're going to find some more for tomorrow and we'll see. It was a good session."
GIORGIO PANTANO (No. 83 NovoLog FlexPenHonda): "I have a good feeling about today. The NovoLog FlexPen car is definitely good and it was great to be out there. I think in tomorrow's practice session I'll be able to put myself more in the front of the field than today."
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 38 Service Central Honda): "It was a good day for us. I'm proud of the guys and they're working really hard. The ultimate goal is to come here and to win, so we're off to a good start. We've got a really good car and I'm not sure we got a hundred percent out of it yet. Certainly, we're really happy with the NTB/Service Central car and we'll just keep working away."
JR HILDEBRAND (No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet): "I feel like we had a pretty good session. We got held up in some traffic there at the end, and I think we had a few extra tenths in the car. After the test last week, we came here with a couple of things in particular that we wanted to try today, and we did. We felt like we knocked off some of the big things we were trying to accomplish. At this track, with a tight as it is, getting the finer details sorted out is going to be where a lot of the lap time is going to come from. I think Oriol (Servia) and I are really close in terms of what we're able to do with the cars right now, and I feel pretty confident that we can continue to figure things out and that we'll have a good car for qualifying tomorrow."
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 27 Team GoDaddy.com Chevrolet): "The track is a little less grippy than it was at the test last week, and unloading with a car as it was at the test - I think we struggled a little bit but I'm not really too worried about it. I had a small spin early on, just me being silly. We only tested a couple things because we know the baseline car is pretty good based on what we saw at the test last week, so I think as the weekend goes on and the track rubbers up it will come to us a bit more and we can move the Go Daddy car up the charts."
TAKUMA SATO (No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda): ""We continued our work list from last week's test. So many things were left due to the weather. We came here with some changes and over the course of the practice we tried a number of things. The track was a bit different. Initially it was quite greasy, low grip which is typical Mid-Ohio. And it was quite rapidly rubbered down so after the first half of the season the track was getting pretty good. We couldn't make the most of our potential. We tried different things but I was struggling with the balance a bit. We will go through the data and continue to work on that."
MIKE CONWAY (No. 14 ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Racing Honda): "The circuit is different from when we tested so we had to try a few things. We still have time to find some time with this car so I' m not worried."
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Team RC Cola Chevrolet): "We were good at the test (last week at Mid-Ohio), and that carried over to today. We didn't even run our last set of tires, so that proves right there how quick the RC Cola car was today. We were one change away from going much quicker than that."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda Chevrolet): ""We didn't learn much from that session. It was a short practice interrupted by a lot of yellows. So, with so few laps, we never got a good read on the car. But, Marco (Andretti) was really fast, so we're able to take advantage of being a three-car team and use what he learned to help us for tomorrow."
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 7 TrueCar Dragon Racing Chevrolet): "We're just three full-tenths shy of the hot ticket, the hot crowd. We are coming off a pretty decent test where we narrowed down the options, but we are kind of running out. We tried quite a few things. We still have some ideas, but it is a quick weekend. You get one less (practice) session. Tomorrow is going to be difficult to understand what's going to happen because from 140 degrees on the track, it's going to go down to 70 or 80 (during morning practice). Then back up for qualifying. It's just a lot of variables that really seem to hurt us. We can't seem to be able to hit the target. We know what is going to happen and we need to do this and we need to do that. We try to shoot for a solution for a given problem and the problem changes because things change so much from one session to another. The team is doing a good job, but we haven't found what we are looking for."
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda): "It's cool to race here because it's sort of Sarah's home track. It's a little added pressure but I like the challenge." (On learning the track): "It's difficult to learn a track like this quickly because it's such high commitment. You really have to put the car out there. You're going through high-speed corners and you have to be fully concentrated on what you're doing. It's important to be confident in yourself. It's difficult because you have to build the speed slowly. I really think it's one of the best tracks I've ever driven on though."
RYAN BRISCOE (No. 2 PPG Automotive Refinishes Team Penske Chevrolet): "We had a decent day during our short practice session. We have some changes to make on the No.2 PPG machine, but we didn't change tires during the session which led us to finish a little bit down the list on the lap times. I feel we've got a good car and we should have a good shot at the pole tomorrow."
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet): "It was a good day for the No.3 Penske Truck Rental team. I didn't get to practice much here a week ago because of an accident so we felt a little behind plus it doesn't help that I am not feeling well. I'm confident we will turn things around and hopefully this is just the beginning to a very good weekend."
8-8:45 a.m. - Firestone Indy Lights Sunoco Pole Qualifying (All cars)
8 - 9 a.m. - IZOD IndyCar Series practice
10:10 - 10:45 - USF2000 Qualifying
11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. - IZOD IndyCar Series pole qualifying (knockout qualifying/Firestone Fast Six)
4:15 - 4:45 p.m. - UF2000 Race #1 (30-minutes).
TAGGED AS : IRL, Scott Dixon, Will Power, Sebastien Bourdais, Simon Pagenard, James Hinchcliffe, Giorgio Pantano, Graham Rahal, Mike Conway, E.J. Viso, Tony Kanaan.Josef Newgarden, Ed Carpenter, Ryan Hunter Reay, Marco Andretti, Dario Franchitti, Ryan Briscoe.Helio Castroneves, Takuma Sato, IZOD IndyCar, motorsport news, Indycar, ,
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