The 2012 IndyCar and Formula One seasons have been very interesting so far. They are both three races in. So what have we learned?
Competitiveness of the DW12: Everybody knew the DW12 was going to be a question mark going into the 2012 season. We have seen more passing at every single race this season. Remember when I was a Barber hater? Now I’m not really a hater because that race was a great race to see. Lots of passing and entertainment. Even at the season opener in St. Petersburg, that race was way better then any Honda GP of St. Petersburg I’ve ever seen. And finally and Long Beach, the Chevrolet drivers get grid penalties and they can still pass a lot on one of the tightest circuits of the series. Hopefully this trend will carry on throughout the season.
Chevy Did Their Homework: When Chevrolet announced their return to IndyCar racing I was very surprised. I thought they will land some good teams but they will never get to a championship winning form. Well, I was totally wrong. When they signed Penske Racing, Andretti, KV, ECR and Panther, I knew this would be a great competition vs. Honda (Ganassi, SHM, Foyt, RLLR, SFHR and Coyne). Well Chevrolet has out ran everybody. Chevy has taken the first three races of the season. Helio and Power with 2. Andretti has been the normal. In my opinion, I believe that Honda should be kicking everybody so bad because they were the sole engine supplier of the series for many years. The only consistent driver for Honda is Simon Pagenaud (a non- Ganassi driver). And he is a rookie! Other than Dixon pulling for the Ganassi team. Honda is been a disaster just like Lotus (except for Bourdais).
Randy Wants to Expand: After St. Petersburg in March, Randy Bernard announced the return to Reliant Park and the Houston parking lot course, while I’m not a huge fan of the race, it is good to see that Randy is putting some ChampCar races on the schedule. Randy is in discussions with Michigan, Road America, Portland, Phoenix, Cleveland and Watkins Glen to name a few. Randy, we need ovals so please bring back Richmond, Phoenix, Loudon, Michigan and Pocono.
Indy 500 watch and the new oval car: Jean Alesi, Wade Cunningham, Ana Beatriz, Bryan Clauson, Sebastien Saavedra and Luca Filippi have all been confirmed for the Indy 500. Hopefully Townsend Bell, Tomas Scheckter and Bruno Junquiera could get rides. Speaking of Indy, teams tested after Barber with the new oval car. The top speed was posted by Marco Andretti at 218.6 miles per hour. This kind of concerns me because we are all used to seeing speeds over 220 miles per hour. Technical Director Will Phillips has said “220 is the goal.” Hopefully!
Beaux Barfield: AMAZING! This is what I have to say on Beaux Barfield’s race directing skills. He has faced scrutiny from tons of drivers on the blocking rule (Rahal). His rules have made the races better. Especially because we saw some passing in no passing zones under the old rules (Long Beach Turn 11). Good call on putting Graham Rahal on probation for six races because it looked like he purposely drove into Marco Andretti. The engine change rules need to be changed. If it’s in testing, who cares it IS NOT the race. Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe that mileage should be put on during races only. If you have to change an engine make it a three to five place grid penalty, depending on how much mileage you have on the engine. Other than that it is been great.
TV: ABC still hasn’t improved at all. NBC Sports Network on the other hand have. Adding Townsend Bell was a great move by the NBCSN. He gives great analysis in the pit-lane. Other than some of the Bob Jenkins flubs though also it’s improved. The new show “IndyCar 36″ has impressed me a ton. Great show. The ratings just need to improve for the NBCSN.