Aug 6, 2013, 4:00 PM EST
Four races ago, Chevrolet had a 12-point lead in the IndyCar Manufacturer’s Championship and Chip Ganassi Racing was winless.
After Sunday’s aptly named Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, Honda has evened the score in the Manufacturer’s Championship and CGR is batting a perfect four-for-its-last four.
Odds-on favorite heading into the weekend was Scott Dixon, who had won the last two Mid-Ohio races and the previous three races overall in a ridiculous stretch of eight days between Pocono and the doubleheader in Toronto.
And while it was a Ganassi driver that delivered the goods on Sunday, it wasn’t Dixon or his Target teammate Dario Franchitti. Charlie Kimball took home a somewhat surprising but popular first win in the Novo Nordisk camp.
It’s no coincidence that recent uptick in form these last four races has come after Ganassi spent a day testing at Sebring in late June, while other teams opted to test for Pocono at Pocono. The canny move to go to a track that most resembles the characteristics of the remaining circuits on the calendar has paid major dividends.
Honda, too, has found more pace to complement its already superior fuel mileage over Chevrolet. Believe it or not, it’s the first time since the reintroduction of the Manufacturer’s Championship that Honda is tied for the lead.
Chevrolet got out to a 4-0 advantage in wins and points in 2012 and never looked back, and won a total of 11 of 15 races to secure the crown.
But in 2013, the wins are level at seven apiece. Andretti Autosport has taken five of Chevrolet’s seven, with Ganassi winning four of the seven for Honda.
It was a big weekend for Honda at Mid-Ohio, the unofficial “summer picnic outing” for many of its employees at local plants.
This writer had the opportunity to experience what was a gripping and enjoyable hot lap in a pace car with Stefan Wilson, who will make his IndyCar debut at Baltimore later this year. Unfortunately, I had to miss out on seeing grand marshal “Jungle” Jack Hanna and his snow leopard in the press room due to another prior commitment.
It appeared the snow leopard had a better day than did Graham Rahal, though, who was with Hanna and the animal in the Mid-Ohio press room…
Dec 21, 2013, 4:00 PM EST
Irish star Damien Faulkner has landed a seat in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. The TRG refugee has a multiyear deal in place with the new GB Autosport team, which will run a Porsche 911 GT America in the series’ GT Daytona class. “I’m delighted to have joined GB Autosport for the 2014 TUDOR United…
Dec 21, 2013, 2:00 PM EST
Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the last month, you’ve seen Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy in some form or another to plug Anchorman 2. Will Ferrell also has a racing tie-in, of course, when he played Ricky Bobby in 2006′s Talladega Nights. American Le Mans Series PC class driver Kyle Marcelli, who finished the…
Dec 21, 2013, 12:00 PM EST
Before February’s reveal of the full 56 cars that will compete in the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans, 12 teams have already earned entries into next year’s race via automatic invitations from the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO). Those 12 are: OAK Racing (2 LMP2 entries; 1st LMP2 in 24H of LM, 1st LMP2…
Dec 20, 2013, 10:00 PM EST
Sauber has completed its roster for the 2014 Formula One World Championship, as Russian racer Sergey Sirotkin has been announced as the team’s test driver alongside race drivers Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez. Sirotkin, who finished ninth in this year’s Formula Renault 3.5 championship with podium finishes at Aragon, Spain and the Hungaroring, became a…
Dec 20, 2013, 9:24 PM EST
Esteban Gutierrez has been confirmed to a second season at Sauber, which ends a several-month long saga about his future in the team. The Mexican rookie came on in the second half of 2013, even though he failed to match highly rated teammate Nico Hulkenberg in the lead car. His only points finish was a…
Dec 20, 2013, 8:55 PM EST
Red Bull announced earlier today that Pierre Wache has become the team’s new head of vehicle dynamics, replacing Mark Ellis who is set to move to Mercedes next summer. Wache previously served as Red Bull’s chief engineer of car performance and joined the World Champions this past June following his departure from Sauber. The move…
Dec 20, 2013, 7:39 PM EST
This week’s test session at Sebring International Raceway marked the first time working together for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing’s driver/engineer tandem of Josef Newgarden (pictured, from September’s Grand Prix of Baltimore) and Jeremy Milless. Milless, who recently was promoted to chief engineer on Newgarden’s No. 67 Honda, has been with SFHR since the 2012 season…
Dec 20, 2013, 6:23 PM EST
The much-maligned double points award for Formula One season finales may not be long for this world according to Formula One kingpin Bernie Ecclestone. The British billionaire has told the UK’s Telegraph newspaper that the controversial rule could be scrapped as soon as next month’s meeting of the F1 Strategy Group. But in doing so,…
Dec 20, 2013, 5:00 PM EST
Billy Scott will be the man atop the pit box for the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota and driver Brian Vickers in the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. Scott, an MWR member since 2008, has served as the lead engineer for the No. 55 car over the last two seasons. “I’m honored, but…
Dec 20, 2013, 3:31 PM EST
The FIA’s Land Speed Records Commission has homologated two of Colin Braun‘s record speed runs this past October at Daytona International Speedway as official world records. The world records are for 10 kilometers (203.010 mph) and 10 miles (210.017 mph), both from a standing start. Braun achieved the marks in a Ford Ecoboost-powered Daytona Prototype…
Dec 20, 2013, 3:00 PM EST
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards has testing at Daytona International Speedway this weekend. ARCA, while not affiliated directly with NASCAR, is a stock car racing series that generally kicks off Daytona Speedweeks in style with a barnburner of a 200-mile race. Of note, two female drivers have some races confirmed in the series…
Dec 20, 2013, 2:30 PM EST
Christmas is a special time everywhere but depending on the locale, the traditions of the season can be rather unique. Just ask Team Penske’s Will Power, who hails from Toowoomba, Australia – a place that has its own ways of celebrating the holiday. For example, instead of chestnuts, Power maintains that he and his loved…
Dec 20, 2013, 2:00 PM EST
Ferrari is offering its fans the chance to name its 2014 Formula One car, via a fan vote on the Internet, which could be perilous. Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo announced the news at the company’s annual pre-Christmas dinner with Italian media at Fiorano. Recently, the Ferrari nomenclature has been a simple F-year, F2012 being…
Dec 20, 2013, 1:20 PM EST
Former Toyota and Sauber driver Kamui Kobayashi could be making a trip back to Formula One in 2014. Since departing from Hinwil in 2012, Kobayashi has been driving a Ferrari for AF Corse in the FIA World Endurance Championship and didn’t do badly with four podium finishes this past season. But Autoweek contributor Adam Cooper…
Dec 20, 2013, 1:00 PM EST
Here’s a brief roundup of teams and drivers that have tested at least one day since the end of the IndyCar Series season at Fontana. Drivers in italics do not have a confirmed seat for 2014: Chip Ganassi Racing: Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball, Alex Tagliani Team Penske: Will Power, Helio Castroneves, Juan Pablo…
Dec 20, 2013, 12:00 PM EST
We’ve written a lot in the week since Ryan Briscoe was picked to be Chip Ganassi Racing’s fourth driver about his return to the team, but not nearly as much about reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan actually taking over the No. 10 Target IndyCar from Dario Franchitti. Things are coming a bit full circle…
Dec 20, 2013, 11:30 AM EST
After talking about the big stories and ranking our Top 10 drivers from the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship season, my colleague Chris Estrada and I are taking a look back on how each of the 23 Formula One drivers who took to the grid fared this past year. Filling in at Lotus for…
Dec 20, 2013, 11:00 AM EST
After talking about the big stories and ranking our Top 10 drivers from the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship season, my colleague Chris Estrada and I are taking a look back on how each of the 23 Formula One drivers who took to the grid fared this past year. Making history in 2013 –…
Dec 20, 2013, 10:30 AM EST
After talking about the big stories and ranking our Top 10 drivers from the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship season, my colleague Chris Estrada and I are taking a look back on how each of the 23 Formula One drivers who took to the grid fared this past year. It was a relatively anonymous…
Dec 20, 2013, 10:00 AM EST
After talking about the big stories and ranking our Top 10 drivers from the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship season, my colleague Chris Estrada and I are taking a look back on how each of the 23 Formula One drivers who took to the grid fared this past year. Gaining confidence as his rookie…