|Can Castroneves win again at St. Pete?|
Chevroletâ€™s return to the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2012 was extremely successful: the Bowtie Brand captured the Manufacturers' Championship on the strength of 11 wins in 15 races; Ryan Hunter-Reay crowned the Overall Driver Champion as well as the Oval Track Champion and Will Power named the Road Course Champion.
But, that was last year. The focus quickly turned to the 19-race 2013 schedule beginning with the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Fla.) March 24, 2013. The pre-season testing is done, the preparation is complete and the Chevy V6 IndyCar teams and drivers are ready for the challenge of a new season.
"As the sun rises on the first race of the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series, we are poised at Chevrolet to resume the competition on the track,â€ť said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager, IZOD IndyCar Series. â€śAfter a great 2012 season, we have worked extensively during the 6 month off-season with our technical partners, ILMOR and Pratt & Miller, as well as internally at GM, to prepare the Chevrolet 2.2L Twin Turbo Direct Injected V6 for the 2013 season. It will be a clean scorecard and we expect the on-track racing to be close and exciting for the fans. With 19 races this year, and the addition of double headers, standing starts, the Triple Crown and the return of push to pass, there should be plenty for the fans to debate around the water cooler. Chevrolet returns with seven strong teams and thirteen talented drivers to pilot their Chevrolet-powered IndyCars to Victory Lane.â€ť
Racing is deeply steeped in the DNA of Chevrolet dating back more than 100 years to founder Louis Chevroletâ€™s love of the sport. The dedication to constantly evolve the power and efficiency of Chevroletâ€™s vehicle line-up is the driving force behind the involvement in the IZOD IndyCar Series.
Direct injection and turbocharging are fundamental technologies in the 2013 Chevrolet IZOD IndyCar engine. Both are key technologies in several current powerful and fuel-efficient Chevrolet production cars, including the Malibu and Americanâ€™s best-selling sports car, Camaro.
A total of seven organizations fielding 13 full-time cars will carry the Gold Bowtie as they take on the competition in 2013 powered by the purpose-built Chevrolet IndyCar twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V-6 racing engine powered by renewable E85 ethanol fuel.
The Team Chevy line-up as the season kicks off in St. Petersburg will be:
Andretti Autosport: Ryan Hunter-Reay, No. 1 DHL Chevrolet, Marco Andretti, No. 26 RC Cola Chevrolet; James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet and E.J. Viso, No. 5 Team Venezuela/PDVSA CITGO HVM Chevrolet
Ed Carpenter Racing: Ed Carpenter, No 20 Fuzzyâ€™s Premium Vodka Chevrolet
Dragon Racing: Sebastian Saavedra, No. 6 TrueCar Chevrolet and Sebastien Bourdais, No. 7 McAfee Chevrolet.
KV Racing Technology: Tony Kanaan, No. 11 Hydroxcut SH Racing Chevrolet and Simona de Silvestro, No. 78 Nuclear Entergy Areva Chevrolet
Panther Racing: JR Hildebrand, No. 4 National Guard Chevrolet
Panther Dreyer & Reinbold Racing: Oriol Servia, No. 22 Mecum Auctions Chevrolet
Team Penske: Helio Castroneves, No. 3 Hitachi Chevrolet and Will Power, No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet
Practice for the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will begin Friday, March 22. Qualifying will be Saturday at 2:05 p.m. ET and the race is scheduled to start on Sunday, March 24 at 12:00 (Noon) p.m. ET with live TV coverage of the 110-lap event on NBC Sports Network. The IMS Radio Network brings the action live to fans. Both the radio broadcast and live timing and scoring can be found on www.indycar.com. Radio broadcast can also be heard on XM Radio 211/Sirius Radio 211.
CHEVROLET IN THE IZOD INDYCAR SERIES - FROM THE DRIVERS SEAT:
RYAN HUNTER-REAY, NO. 1 DHL CHEVROLET:
"The IndyCar season opener at St. Petersburg is one of my favorite events of the year. This is now my home race, which makes a great way to kick off the 2013 season. The engineers and crew at Andretti Autosport have been working so hard to stay one step ahead of the rest in terms of development over the off-season and I know weâ€™re all ready to get on with the job and put that hard work to the test. Iâ€™ve stood on each step of the St. Pete podium except for the top spot and I feel we can make that next step. Itâ€™s certainly a dream come true driving the No. 1 car for DHL and Chevy, time to go to work!."
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, NO. 27 GODADDY.COM CHEVROLET:
â€śIâ€™m definitely looking forward to finally just getting to St. Pete! Itâ€™s been such a long off season that the first race simply canâ€™t come soon enough. We had a strong result there last year with the Go Daddy Chevy and with the work the team has done through the winter hopefully weâ€™re going to be even stronger. Itâ€™s the first race of any kind â€“ you obviously canâ€™t test on street circuits so nobody quite knows where anybody stacks up. It will be interesting to see on Friday where we stand. More than anything I love that event; I love that thatâ€™s where we open the season. Itâ€™s such a cool city, such a cool track and we just want to get back to racing.â€ť
MARCO ANDRETTI, NO. 25 RC COLA CHEVROLET:
â€śI love the setting and the atmosphere of St. Pete, and being the first race it really sets the tone for the season. I am looking to start off strong with the RC Cola Chevy.â€ť
E.J. VISO, NO. 5 TEAM VENEZUELA PDVSA CITGO HVM CHEVROLET:
"This year I'm going to start with a different approach. I believe that off the bat I'm already coming with a strong lineup of partners, not only at the track, but off the track, that I will be adding to my program. I'm definitely excited about working with Andretti Autosport and working with the three drivers that they have been working with for a time that they have created a good energy and good atmosphere, which I'm willing to add to and be a part of. St. Pete is one of my favorite tracks - I really like it. It's a track where, as a driver, you can really drive it. I believe it's going to be a really fun year."
ED CARPENTER RACING:
ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZYâ€™S ULTRA PREMIUM VODKA CHEVROLET:
â€śIâ€™m anxious to go racing again. Itâ€™s been a long off-season since that Fontana win (MAVTV500 on Sept. 15). But, this winter was really good for our new team. Last year, at this time, we were scrambling to get everything and everyone together at Ed Carpenter Racing. Now, we feel much more confident with a strong off-season program. Of course, being a one-team is difficult competing against the top multi-car teams. We are the youngest team in the series and we are still developing our organization. I feel good how the team is coming along. We have a very good crew and Iâ€™m excited to see how things progress in 2013. The streets of St. Petersburg are always tough and the season opener is usually pretty entertaining. I know I am ready to go.â€ť
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA, NO. 6 TRUECAR CHEVROLET:
"I'm looking forward to the first race of the season with a new team and new teammate. The offseason has been good and we want to keep that momentum going into the first race weekend. I understand how important it is to start the season in a positive way because that will carry out through the 19 races. We are very positive all around and I have high expectations going into St. Pete. This will be my second time in an IndyCar, but this will be my first full season in the series. I am grateful for the opportunity TrueCar and Jay Penske have given me this year. As well as my all-time sponsor AFS, Coldeportes, autoniza, and Seringe."
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, NO. 7 MCAFEE CHEVROLET:
"St. Petersburg is a very special place for me for many reasons. It was my very first CART race back in 2003 and what an event it has been with claiming a pole and leading many laps. We also own a home there, which we have called home since last year. As far as the race is concerned, it is a track I have always been fast on and you could not dream of a better scenery to begin the season. I am confident our Mc Afee / Chevrolet #7 will be on pace to challenge for a win. That is what the entire Dragon Racing team is shooting for!"
KV RACING TECHNOLOGY:
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO, NO. 78 NUCLEAR ENTERGY AREVA CHEVROLET:
â€śIâ€™m really excited to start the season being part of the team Chevy family! I think we are going to have a great race and looking forward to a great season together!â€ť
TONY KANAAN, NO. 11 HYDROXYCUT SH RACING CHEVROLET:
JR HILDEBRAND, NO. 4 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET:
"I'm really looking forward to the season getting started this weekend. It's been a long off season and it's been great to be able to get some testing in lately, but it's a whole different feeling when you actually get to show up at the track to race. Last year at St. Pete we had a really strong run before getting caught out by a fuel pressure issue so I'm really looking forward to getting back there to see what we can do.
â€śI think out partnership we have with Panther DRR is going to be very beneficial all around this year. It's great to be able to work with those guys again and continue to grow, so I can't wait to kick things off in a few days."
PANTHER DREYER & REINBOLD RACING:
ORIOL SERVIA, NO. 22 MECUM AUCTIONS CHEVROLET:
"Going into St. Pete, I feel a million times better this year than I did last year, without any exaggeration! The field is unbelievable - I've never seen IndyCar so competitive and I've been around for a while! I think it's going to be great for the fans. The competition level is honestly astronomical. Everybody's learned so much about this car and improved their game since last year, including us. It's going to be a great season and I'm ready to get started."
HELIO CASTRONEVES, NO. 3 HITACHI CHEVROLET:
â€śI am very excited to get the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet on the Streets of St. Pete to defend our race win last year. Weâ€™ve done well here in the past because the track fits my style and being the first race of the year I want to really go for a win. Itâ€™s going to be another really competitive year again this year but we know that Chevy has done their homework in the offseason to give us an engine we can win races and a championship with.â€ť
WILL POWER, NO. 12 VERIZON CHEVROLET:
â€śI always enjoy driving at St. Pete and Iâ€™m looking forward to getting back in action with the Verizon Team Penske guys. Being the first race you are always amped up to start with a win and hopefully we can convert our success the last couple years in qualifying to a race victory. I know that Chevrolet will give us what we need to win on race day after making some slight adjustments in my approach for this year I look forward to a great race and season.â€ť