Kanaan confident in Chevrolet but not boasting
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Tony Kanaan says Chevy’s current advantage over Honda in IndyCar could change, but says he’s happy with the work of Chevrolet and aero experts Pratt & Miller.
The 2004 IndyCar champion and 2013 Indy 500 winner qualified second for the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix, beaten to pole only by Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves, who headed a Chevrolet lockout of the top 10 grid positions.
Meanwhile three race engineers and one team owner from Honda-powered teams – none of whom wished to be quoted on the record – told Motorsport.com that the downforce/drag delta they had been given had put the center of pressure two percent too far forward on their cars.
Kanaan appeared to allude to this when he said: “Big props to Chevy and Pratt & Miller on their accurate data, because we made some changes in the car. It was totally blind, just according to the numbers they gave us – and it was spot on.”
Asked if being a Chevrolet driver gave him confidence, Kanaan replied: “I think you can look at the grid; that answers you right away. Look at the top 10 there and tell me what you think.”
The 40-year-old veteran, who won Indy with Chevrolet power but the IndyCar title with Honda, said: “I think Chevy has been doing a great job for a long time, and props to them.
“I’m not trying to hammer on Honda at all; I think they’re very capable. But this is racing and we knew at some point that somebody was going to be better and that’s just the way it is.”
Warning against complacency
Although Kanaan said he was “very happy with the Chevy that I’ve got,” he also said that neither himself nor the Ganassi team would assume Chevrolet’s advantage would remain throughout the year.
He said: “We’re not bragging about it because that situation can change from one race to the other. So we’ve just got to keep our heads up and working together with Chevrolet and Pratt & Miller to maximize what we’ve got.
“After here we’re going to test in Indy next week, that’s going to be really important. So we’ll be bragging about it here, and then we get there and the Hondas are better… then what?! You know what I mean?
“I think we’ll take one day at a time. But I have to say I’m very confident and happy to be with Chevy.”
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