Chevrolet Brings Strong Team and Driver Line-Up to 96th Running of the Indianapolis 500
DETROIT (May 22, 2012) – A strong contingent of 16 Chevrolet IndyCar V-6 powered teams and drivers will set their sights on one thing on Sunday, May 27 – winning the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
While 2012 marks the debut of the all-new Chevy V-6 direct injected twin turbo charged purpose built engine fueled by renewable E85, the Bowtie brand competed previously in Indy-style competition as an engine manufacturer in 1986-93 and 2002-05 with V-8 engines, and scored seven wins in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”.
Add to that an all-Chevrolet front row with Team Penske’s Ryan Briscoe on the pole, and Andretti Autosport’s James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay filling out the first row of three; a total of nine Gold Bowtie drivers starting in the top-10 of the 250-lap/500-mile race; team owners who have combined to win the Indy 500 an amazing 17 times and a three-time Indianapolis 500 winning driver on the roster, Chevrolet finds itself in an exciting position when the engines are fired on Sunday.
"Our Chevrolet IndyCar V-6 teams are well prepared and ready to race Sunday in the Indianapolis 500," said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Program Manager, IZOD IndyCar Series. "After a tremendous qualifying result, the teams in conjunction with our technical partners in the program, Ilmor Engineering and Pratt & Miller Engineering, have maximized every lap of practice time leading up to the season's biggest race. The Indy 500 is a long race and will test every aspect of the engines, cars, teams and drivers. We are hopeful that if preparation, expertise, determination and a little luck come to play throughout the afternoon, a Chevrolet team will be celebrating victory on the Yard of Bricks for the first time since 2002.”
Marco Andretti qualified in the fourth starting position, on the inside of row two, for Andretti Autosport, who is fielding five cars in Sunday’s race. Ana Beatriz will start 13th and Sebastian Saavedra will roll off 24th in the 33-car field for the organization that has claimed two Indianapolis 500 victories.
Team Penske, who has 15 Indianapolis 500 wins on its resume, filled out row two with Will Power capturing the fifth starting position and three-time Indy 500 race champion Helio Castroneves qualifying in the sixth spot on the grid
The three Chevrolet V-6 drivers from the KV Racing Technology stable made a strong statement on Pole Day with Tony Kanaan, E.J. Viso and Rubens Barrichello locking down the eighth, ninth and 10th starting positions respectively.
Panther Racing’s JR Hildebrand will start the Indianapolis 500 from the outside of the sixth row. His teammate from the newly aligned Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, Oriol Servia, rebounded from an on-track incident on Pole Day to secure the 27th starting position for Sunday’s race.
Ed Carpenter, who was forced to a backup car following hard contact with the wall on Pole Day, put together a solid qualifying run to lock-in the 28th starting spot.
Dragon Racing, the newest addition to the Chevrolet V-6 team roster, put two cars in the field. Sebastien Bourdais quailifed 25th with the fastest speed on “Bump Day’. Rookie Katherine Legge will start in 30th position.
In its return to IZOD IndyCar competition, Chevrolet has won the first four races of the season in addition to five poles that includes Briscoe’s Indy 500 pole-winning effort.