Team Chevy looking to score 3rd victory of the season at the inaugural Grand Prix of Indy
Chevrolet is back at the Brickyard for the month of May – a time-honored tradition for IndyCar drivers and teams. But ahead of the Indianapolis 500 later this month, the defending Verizon IndyCar Series engine manufacturer champion has more immediate business to tend to – the first IndyCar race on a redesigned road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis will precede the traditional festivities surrounding the Indy 500 – a race won by Chevrolet in 2013 - and features a 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course within the confines of one of the world’s great racing venues. Chevrolet driver’s and teams had the opportunity to test on the road course last week with Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Dixon and Ryan Briscoe setting the two quickest times in their Chevy V6 IndyCars.
“There was general enthusiasm from the Team Chevy camp after the Open Test conducted last week on the newly configured road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager, Verizon IndyCar Series. “The track updates have produced a fast, flowing circuit that is fun to drive according to many of the drivers. The Chevy-powered teams were prepared and posted quick times as they dialed in setups and racing lines. The high speeds at the ends of the front and back straights will certainly provide a show of engine power, a workout for the tires and brake systems and coupled with the generally wide and smooth racing surface provide for many passing opportunities. It is not often that a new race track is christened, so Team Chevy is proud to compete in the Inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis.”
Throughout the race weekend and the entire month of May, the Team Chevy IndyCar display will be on site for fans to visit. For the Grand Prix of Indy, fans can look for the Bowtie in the infield at the corner of 6th Street and New Myers Drive. The display hours of operation are 9 a.m - 6:30 p.m., Friday; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday.
A number of vehicles from the Chevrolet line-up will be on-site including Impala, Malibu, Silverado, Sonic Hatchback RS, Traverse and Volt. Fans will have the opportunity to get an up-close look at the No. 3 AAA Chevrolet V6 IndyCar of Helio Castroneves as well as check out a variety of other specialty vehicles on display. There will be interactive activities for children and adults.
The highlight of the weekend will be the driver visits to the Chevrolet stage in the display where fans can participate in question-and-answer sessions with Chevrolet’s top IndyCar stars.
Will Power, No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, points leader:
“Like everyone else, I’m really impressed and really happy with what they’ve done to the road course at Indy. It’s going to be a challenging race. It’s obviously very flat, so there are places that don’t have much grip. But there are also places that have more grip than you would imagine. So it really is going to take a well-balanced car to win on Saturday. Obviously, with this being the first race, there are a lot of unknowns. A win here would be a great way to start off the month of May.”
Scott Dixon, No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet, 4th in points:
Mike Conway, No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet, 5th in points:
“I really like the new circuit at IMS. There are several good passing zones. I think the fans will enjoy the racing at the Grand Prix. It’s funny coming back to IMS. My last two races there, in 2010 and 2012, didn’t end well (with bad crashes) in the Indy 500. So it feels good to return on the new road course. We learned some good things in the test last week. I’m anxious to get out there on Thursday and see how the circuit feels. It would be spectacular to win the first IndyCar Series road race at IMS. That’s our goal.”
Helio Castroneves, No. 3 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, 8th in points:
“I’m looking forward to starting the month of May off with the first Grand Prix of Indianapolis. This month and this racetrack mean a lot to Team Penske. It would mean a lot to me and everyone on this team to win the inaugural road course race. It was good to get out there last week and get a feel for the track. It's spectacular and I think we'll have a good show next weekend. The times are so close that it's crazy. We know of a few areas that we need to work on with the No. 3 Verizon Chevy, but overall we were happy and we’re ready to go to Indianapolis.”
Tony Kanaan, No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, 9th in points:
Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, 11th in standings:
“I’m really impressed with the changes they made to the IMS road course since the last time I competed there in the U.S. Grand Prix in Formula 1. They found a great balance between being technical and being able to put on a good race. There are several parts of the track that are going to be very high-speed, which I love. The straights are so long that you are going to get huge drafts. I really think the ‘push to pass’ button is going to play a big role. It’s going to be a challenge for everyone, but I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. The No. 2 Verizon Chevy was solid in the open test last week. Not spectacular, but we learned enough to feel like we can win the race when we come back.”
Sebastian Saavedra, No. 17 AFS KVAFS Racing Chevrolet, 13th in points:
"I am definitely quite excited about the Grand Prix of Indianapolis this weekend. We don’t have a track like this on the schedule so it’s definitely a plus for IndyCar and the fans. It’s a very different track, so every driver has to adapt. The track itself is very smooth; it has more of a European style to it with the introduction of tight corners but still making sure there are lots of passing zones. It will be quite technical. Every little mistake will be seen by our times and speed, but it’s definitely going to be a fun race to watch.”
Ryan Briscoe, No. 8 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, 16th in points:
“Driving the car the “wrong way” doesn’t feel all that strange because you’re just focused on hitting your marks, but every time I’m on pit lane and looking at the cars going out, it just doesn’t look right. We aren’t looking at this like it’s the Indianapolis 500, it is just a completely different race. Passing is going to be really good because the brake zones are so big and heavy. Turn 1 and down the Hulman Boulevard straight into Turn 7 will be big passing zones. You come out of Turn 4, sort of a medium-speed corner, and then flat out through a chicane going up through the gears almost as fast as the front straight into another big brake zone. You have those two corners and overall it’s really fast and flowing and lots of changes of directions. It’s just a lot of fun to drive and really cool to be learning a new track.”
Sebastien Bourdais, No. 11 Team Mistic E-CIGS KVSH Racing Chevrolet, 17th in points:
“We had a good test on the new road course last Wednesday. We made a lot of progress and learned some things. I raced here in GRAND-AM and that was fun, but that track was very slippery. I have to say I had some reservations early on because the corners (of the new racetrack) are very tight, but the grip more than makes up for it. The new asphalt that was laid down is very, very grippy and actually a lot of fun. It’s a challenging racetrack. You have to commit to it and the grip level, so you can challenge yourself in the car. The last section is very enjoyable. The left, right, left and right again, that’s opened up a lot more than it used to be, and they are all third-gear corners. The car digs in and goes side to side as you’re working the tires and pushing yourself. It’s quite fun and I see some passing areas.”
Charlie Kimball, No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. 22nd in points:
“I can't wait to get back on track for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. We've just had one test day here so I think the most challenging part of the race weekend will be the fact that it's all new to us, more or less. During the test, we worked on adapting the NovoLog FlexPen car to a new track as well as working closely with the Chevrolet engineers on some development items. It was good to get a baseline for the road course for the whole team--the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing engineers, the crew, the Chevy engineers. We now have some data to work with and a bit of time on track under our belts. I know that things will continue to evolve throughout the race weekend, but we are ready to evolve with them."
Team Chevy Racing