TCGR LOOKING FORWARD TO SAO PAULO
Target Chip Ganassi Racing Sao Paulo Advance Notes
Race: Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 Sunday, April 29 (12:00 PM ET, NBC Sports Network)
Track: Streets of Sao Paulo (2.536-mile street circuit)
Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Follow Team Target on Twitter: Continue to follow @TCGRTeams for official updates from Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR).
There’s an App for that: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) and SapientNitro SM recently launched one of the first mobile applications for the high-velocity world of racing. This new application brings fans updated driver and event information, and exclusive content in one centralized and expansive mobile experience, bringing to life the rich heritage and legendary success of CGRT. The unique mobile application conveys the high-octane rush of the racing experience for a team that competes at the highest levels in three series – the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS), IZOD IndyCar Series and GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series.
Managing Director Mike Hull on Brazil: “Think about the logistics of sending our two Target entry's to Sao Paulo, Brazil: One race car and one spare each for Dario and Scott plus 16,000 pounds of freight in a 747 Freighter. Our guys load everything in 40-plus cargo containers that normally would roll into the pit lane, and is normally housed in the transporters. The race track has great multiple passing zones - one of the best is the long straight as it has the capacity for a double pass. You can pass half way and again at the end due to an intermediate corner that leads onto it rather than the typical street-course hairpin. It's an international race that's still in the time zone for live television, so watch us on Sunday.”
Making History Together: Minneapolis-based Target celebrates its 23rd anniversary in motorsports with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2012. Since its formation, TCGR has amassed 86 victories and nine titles (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), including three Indianapolis 500 victories (2000, 2008, 2010). The 2012 season includes two full-time entries in the IZOD IndyCar Series with Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti and a full-time entry in the NSCS for 1999 CART Champion and 2000 Indianapolis 500 Winner Juan Pablo Montoya, as Team Target continues to feature some of the world’s most accomplished race car drivers. The Target Racing Program enters 2012 with 95 wins across four series (CART/INDYCAR: 86; GRAND-AM: 4; ARCA: 4; NSCS: 1).
TCGR at Brazil: In two visits to Sao Paulo, Brazil, TCGR has earned one pole, three top-10 finishes and has led 29 laps.
Honda Power: Honda comes to this weekend’s race second in the Manufacturers’ Championship, with 18 points, trailing Chevrolet by nine.
Taking over the Streets: Since 1990, TCGR has made 193 starts on street courses, earning 20 wins, 13 poles, 49 podiums and five double podiums.
By the Numbers: In 193 total street course starts, TCGR drivers have 73 top-five finishes (37.8%) and 110 top-10 finishes (56.9%). Out of a possible 16,904 laps, TCGR has led 1,451, or 8.5% of laps run on street courses since 1990.
Did you Know?: In the five seasons spanning from 1996 to 2000, TCGR drivers won at least one street course race every season, with a high total of five victories coming in 1998.
Success in Rio: In the five CART races held in Rio de Janerio, Brazil at Autodromo Nelson Piquet (1996-2000), TCGR drivers earned one victory (Montoya: 1999), one pole, three podiums and five top-five finishes. Between Montoya, Jimmy Vasser and Alex Zanardi, Team Target drivers led 275 out of 605 laps (45%) run at the track.
Scott Dixon and the No. 9 Target Team
Dixon on Twitter: Catch the latest from the driver of the No. 9 Target Honda by following Dixon’s personal twitter account, @scottdixon9.
Connected: Fans can check out Dixon’s season-long blog throughout the 2012 campaign on www.Racer.com.
Long Beach Recap: Grid penalties moved Dixon up from his qualifying position of 12th to start fifth. By the end of lap one Dixon worked his way up to fourth, running the opening 19 laps in the top-five. The No. 9 Target Honda made its first pit-stop of the day on lap 20 when a full-course caution waved. Dixon returned to the course and began to work his way through traffic, before his day ended early as his car stalled coming to a restart on lap 29. Dixon and the car would remain behind the turn eight wall for the remainder of the event after INDYCAR did not elect to tow the car back to pit lane.
Career at Brazil: In two career starts on the streets of Brazil, Dixon has finished sixth and 12th, completing all 116 laps. His highest starting and finishing positions are third and sixth, respectively. In his two starts, he has an average start of fifth and an average finish of ninth.
Success on the Streets: In 38 starts on street courses, Dixon has two wins, one pole, eight podiums and 14 top-five finishes. His last victory on a street course came at Edmonton in 2010.
Last Year at Brazil: Drivers completed 14 laps before rain pushed the remainder of the event to Monday. Dixon started third, but due to rain and standing water on the course, he spun on a lap-seven restart, dropping him to 17th. After working the No. 9 Target Honda up to 11th, a rainy lap-38 restart caused Dixon to spin again, this time dropping to 15th. Dixon would gain three positions to finish 12th.
In the Points: With the results at Long Beach, Dixon dropped from second to fourth in the IZOD IndyCar point standings with 96 points, 31 points behind new leader, Will Power.
Making History: Dixon is a two-time IZOD IndyCar Series Champion, earning titles in 2003 and 2008. He is tied for 11th with Johnny Rutherford on the all-time wins list with 27 victories. He is also tied with Emerson Fittipaldi in 18th on the all-time poles list with 17.
Dario Franchitti and the No. 10 Lexar Team
Franchitti on Twitter: Catch the latest from the driver of the No. 10 Lexar Honda by following Franchitti’s personal twitter account, @dariofranchitti.
Long Beach Recap: Due to 10-spot grid penalties for much of the field, the No. 10 team started from the pole. Franchitti held the point at the start and led until a lap-five restart. He would complete the first 30 laps of the race in the top-five, until contact with Ryan Briscoe on lap 30 forced him to pit-road for repairs on lap 34. After replacing the front wing, Franchitti returned to the track in 16th. The remainder of the race went caution-free, making gaining ground difficult. A mechanical issue on the last lap would prevent the team from crossing the finish line. The Target team was credited with 15th.
Career at Brazil: In two career starts at Brazil, Franchitti has one pole, one top-five finish and has led 29 laps. Franchitti’s pole at the 2.536-mile street circuit came in the inaugural 2010 event. His highest finish came last year when he crossed the line fourth. He has an average starting and finishing position of 3.5 and 5.5, respectively.
King of the Streets: Franchitti has participated in 62 street course races, earning 11 victories, nine poles, 24 podiums and 31 top-fives. He has completed 4,616 of the 5,440 laps run on street courses and has led 761 laps, which is 13.9% of all the laps completed on street courses during his career.
Last Year at Brazil: Franchitti started in sixth and was able to move his way up to fifth before rain postponed the remainder of the race to Monday. On lap 26, Franchitti ran third, the highest position he held in the race, but moved back to fourth after short-cutting the course on lap 27. The No. 10 car made contact with the turn one tire barriers on lap 33, forcing Franchitti to pit road for a new wing and fuel, dropping him to 15th.
New Colors: Lexar will serve as Franchitti’s primary sponsor this weekend in Sao Paulo. The No. 10 Honda will don black and gold colors for the first of two races with Lexar this season (Baltimore in September). Lexar is a manufacturer of digital media products including, SD cards, Memory Sticks, keydrives, CompactFlash cards and card readers. To learn more visit www.lexar.com.
In the Points: After Long Beach, Franchitti now sits 13th in the points, 75 markers behind Power.
Making History: Franchitti is a four-time IZOD IndyCar Series Champion, bringing home titles in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011. He ranks ninth on both the all-time wins list and all-time poles list with 30 and 26, respectively.