Apr 27, 2012
SÃO PAULO, Brazil – Following a hearty breakfast, crews for Honda IZOD IndyCar Series teams began fulfilling the work order that they've been awaiting: Go ahead and make the alteration to the BorgWarner turbocharger for on-track activity April 28.
Twelve hours earlier, a three-person panel denied a protest filed April 18 and upheld INDYCAR’s decision to approve use of a 0.74 A/R compressor cover for the single turbocharger. The hearing of the protest in Indianapolis was conducted by a panel consisting of Hans Peter Kollmeier, Jack Snyder and Jim Voyles.
Reigning series champion Dario Franchitti is "interested in seeing what change that will make."
"Hopefully this will get us a little bit closer (to Chevrolet) in the engine department," said Franchitti, who's aiming to rebound from three uncharacteristic results outside the top five.
Per Rule 13.3.2 of the IZOD IndyCar Series rulebook, the decision may be appealed by 5 p.m. (EDT) of the second business day following the release of the decision, which in this case would be April 30. It appears GM will not appeal.
"Chevrolet believed the modification was contrary to the applicable series rules, and asked INDYCAR to thoroughly review the issue so that the rules were applied fairly," said Jim Campbell, U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. "We respect the diligence of the panel appointed to hear the protest and examine the situation. While we are disappointed with (the) decision, we are prepared to continue to compete at the highest level in the IZOD IndyCar Series.”
INDYCAR had allowed the change before practice at Long Beach, but the directive was stayed when Chevrolet teams protested.
"INDYCAR committed well in advance of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season to structure engine regulations that would ensure parity in turbocharger performance for both single and twin turbo configurations, and this commitment played a significant role in our decision to adopt a single turbocharger configuration for the new HI12RT Honda Indy V-6," Honda Performance Development vice president Steve Eriksen said.
"The new compressor cover helps to offset the performance disadvantage of the current IndyCar single turbo hardware as measured by INDYCAR's turbo supplier. This correction was designed and provided by the turbo supplier under the direction of INDYCAR and was approved prior to the 2012 season.
"We look forward to deploying the new compressor cover to optimize performance of the Honda Indy V-6, as we continue to do battle with our worthy adversaries from Lotus and General Motors."
Two practice sessions totaling 90 minutes April 28 precede the three rounds of qualifications for the 75-lap Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle on April 29.