Tuesday, December 14, 2010

[F1] A new slate for IndyCar in 2012

With the new engine requirements for 2013 out for F1 and Indy debuting its new formula in 2012, I think newly re-branded IndyCar, formerly the IRL, deserves another look from F1 fans. From what I understand so far in 2012 Indy cars will be just as light, just as powerful, have custom aerodynamics on each car, most likely also include KERS, and will be significantly cheaper then F1 cars.

In 2012 each chassis will be provided by Dallara much like today. The chassis comes with no aerodynamic pieces applied to the car and each team will be responsible for purchasing or developing their own aerodynamics for their car(s). These aerodynamic kits include but are not limited to sidepods, engine covers, front wings, and rear wings. This will add a unique look to what has been a very generic field for far too long. Each rolling chassis will cost $345,000 and will include everything except the aerodynamics and engine.

For years Honda has been the sole engine provider for the IRL(know as IndyCar) but in 2012 that is going to change. IndyCar has announced a new open engine formula that allows for any turbocharged engine up to 2.4L and 6 cylinders to run provided it can be tuned to produce the full range of 550-750 HP. They are also allowing hybrid systems like KERS used in F1. The current push to pass function of the sport (which has worked very well over the past two years) is being boosted from 20 HP up to 100 HP.

Also with the arrival of all these significant changes to the sport returns some major names and manufacturers. Lotus returned in 2010 to test the waters and found them very much to their liking and has committed to a three or more car team for 2011 and has committed to making their own aerodynamic package and engine for 2012. Chevrolet has also thrown their had in the ring as a 2012 engine supply with the backing of a major team in the sport, Penske. Including the current engine supplier (Honda) who has also committed to staying in the sport, that makes three engine suppliers for 2012.

When the IRL was started in 1996 it was to raced exclusively on oval tracks. 2011 out of the 17 races 9 of them are road and street courses. Some of the road and street courses include classic F1 venues such as Long Beach. The competition and talent on road courses in IndyCar has picked up greatly over the past two years as driver have been forced to evolve with the sport. There are now three championships in the series, one for road courses, one for ovals, and a combined championship.

With many of the major teams expected to create their own aerodynamic package, new more powerful engines, manufacturers returning to the sport, new bright talent, and a whole season stuffed full of road and street courses what's there for a F1 fan not to enjoy?

On a side note some oval races do bore me but I do enjoy a close oval race such as Texas or Chicago from time to time and enjoy the magic of May at Indy in person every year but I recognize that it isn't for everyone ^_^ Thanks for reading F1 fans

[Indy Car] Ganassi, the new Penske

With the 2011 season quickly approaching and the silly season starting to solidify I think its important that we take a second and look back at the 2009 and 2010 season and the struggle between the two great forces of the sport. Where they came from, where they are at today and how they are looking going into the 2011 season.

In 2009 we saw a brilliant battle for the championship between Ryan Brisco and Scott Dixon which a beautiful steal from Dario at the end in a brilliant show down. However both championships where the Penske's teams to lose, and lose they did.

As I watched Will slide up into the wall at Miami in 2010 I could not help but think of Brisco tapping the wall in Japan in 2009 exiting the pits one year prior. This pit stop was a amazing break for the team, sneaking in right before a yellow that would have allowed them a great margin and a very likely podium or victory even that day solidifying their chance at the championship.

Will Power made his contact with the wall on lap 137 of 200 that would eventually put him out of the race. His massive lead coming into the last three oval races had been slowly erased by a fueling error and then a very costly DNF. All Dario had to do new was finish 10th or better, which he did at 8th.

Twice Penske has thrown away the season to a simple mistake that his main rivals where there to capitalize on. We all know the Captain (Roger) to focused and disciplined, so how do you let your drivers make two season deciding mistakes that cost you the title?

Chip Ganassi has shown amazing prowess in the last two years, working with Dario in 2009 knowing the possible out come of the race up front between Scott Dixon and Ryan Brisco allowing him to save enough fuel to steal the championship from the two fast front runners, led by Penske's Ryan Brisco. In 2010 we saw a beautiful deception as Ganassi gambled on doing a double stint on tiers that put them ahead panicked team Penske who failed to fuel their car costing them a lot more then just a win.

Dario lead a majority of the race in Miami in 2010 which put pressure on Will, but Dario would not be up at the front in the end. Due to some off rotation pit stops a large portion of the field would be out ahead of Dario who would eventually finish 8th. Will would only have had to finish 11th or better if he could have held in there.

In 2009 if Brisco had gone on to win in Japan all he would of had to do is place in Miami to become the 2009 champion. Even if he had not won he still would have likely had a lead going into the last race.

Two years, two very costly and unnecessary mistakes. Very un-Penske like. While Ganassi took two titles that looked like a long shot and did so with cunning and amazing strategy. Currently Target Chip Ganassi Racing is looking a lot more like the Penske racing I watched growing up back in the day then the Penske racing of 2009 or 2010.