TCGR GEARS UP FOR TORONTO
Target Chip Ganassi Racing Toronto Advance Notes
Race: Honda Indy Toronto (Sunday, July 8 at 1:00 p.m. ET, ABC)
Track: Streets of Toronto (1.75-mile street circuit)
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Follow Team Target on Twitter: Continue to follow @TCGRTeams for official updates from Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR).
Making History Together: Minneapolis-based Target celebrates its 23rd anniversary in motorsports with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2012. Since its formation, Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) has amassed 88 victories and nine titles (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), including four Indianapolis 500 victories (2000, 2008, 2010, 2012). 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 NASCAR Sprint Car Series (NSCS) for 1999 CART Champion and 2000 Indianapolis 500 Winner Juan Pablo Montoya. Team Target continues to feature some of the world’s most accomplished race car drivers.
Push to Pass: Starting this weekend at Toronto, push to pass will return to the IZOD IndyCar Series for the five remaining road and street course events of the 2012 schedule. The overtake assist feature, introduced to the series in 2009, allows a driver to add turbocharger boost and additional RPM with the press of a button on the steering wheel to complete a pass. The additional boost is added for a pre-determined amount of time, which will be determined by INDYCAR depending on the circuit.
Managing Director Mike Hull on Toronto: “The Honda Indy Toronto is an intense Indy car street race. Since its beginning in 1986, it has a rich a tradition with a “who’s who” of Indy car winners that include TCGR four times with Michael Andretti, Alex Zanardi, and Franchitti. It happens at Exhibition Place, which is within walking distance of the CN Tower and the Toronto SkyDome. It’s a difficult 11-turn, 1.75-mile circuit, with a lot of tough transitions for braking and turning over real city streets. Dario and Scott will work with their Target engineers to find the maximum grip level as that will be the key for the long green runs to stay out front. The keys for the race have always been the timing of the pit stops and a capitalization of the two major passing zones in front of the Princes’ Gates and at the end of Lake Shore Boulevard. The buzz at Toronto will also be the return of “push-to-pass.” Our Target Honda power will be increased with a driver assisted steering wheel button for 15 second bursts, so watch for the excitement. Imagine having a button like that on the steering wheel of your Honda to get around traffic! See you Sunday for the Streets of Toronto.”
One-Two Once More: Franchitti and Dixon return to the Streets of Toronto off of a one-two finish in last year’s event. Franchitti started third and led 30 laps en route to victory. Dixon started and finished second. The TCGR teammates have earned one-two finishes on two occasions this season, at the Indianapolis 500 and at Belle Isle.
TCGR at Toronto: TCGR drivers have made 30 starts at Toronto in 16 races, earning four wins (1994: Michael Andretti; 1998: Alex Zanardi; 2009, 2011: Franchitti), one pole (2009: Franchitti), and 11 podiums. Team Target drivers have led 234 out of a possible 1551 laps (15%) since 1990.
By the Numbers: In 30 starts at Toronto, TCGR drivers have an average start and finish position of 8.4 and 9.7, respectively. With 11 podium finishes in 30 starts, TCGR drivers have finished in the top-three in 36% of the team’s starts at Toronto since 1990.
Taking to the Streets: In 112 races on street circuits, TCGR drivers have made 208 starts, earning 23 wins, 18 poles, 55 podiums and 81 top-five finishes. Since 1990, Team Target drivers have led 1,756 out of a possible 9,883 laps (17.7%) run on street courses.
On Target: Since becoming Target teammates in 2009, Dixon and Franchitti have participated in 19 races on street circuits, making 38 starts between the two. In those 38 starts, Dixon and Franchitti have earned six wins, three poles, 14 podiums and have led 417 laps. Together the pair holds an average start of 5.1 and an average finish of 7.8 on street circuits.
Topping the Charts: Franchitti and Dixon rank first and second, respectively, in the number of victories among active drivers in the IZOD IndyCar Series. Franchitti is tied for seventh on the all-time wins list with Sebastien Bourdais and Paul Tracy at 31 victories. Dixon currently holds sole-possession of 11th on the all-time wins list with 28.
Honda Power: Honda remains second in the manufacturer point standings with 62 points, -10 markers behind Chevrolet. Lotus is third with 36 points.
There’s an App for that: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) and SapientNitro SM recently re-launched an updated mobile application, which is one of the first for the high-velocity world of racing. The 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 – NSCS, IZOD IndyCar Series and GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. Click here to visit the iTunes Application store and download the CGRT mobile app.
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.
Iowa Recap: With an eighth-place finish in the qualifying heat race, Dixon started the 250-lap race in eighth. At the start of the race, he settled into the top-10 running order, remaining there for the opening 68 laps. The No. 9 Target Honda hit pit road for the first time under caution on lap 70, returning to the track in sixth. On lap 100, Dixon made his second pit stop under caution, putting him on a different fuel-strategy than the majority of the field. He continued to work his way toward the front, eventually taking the lead on lap 157 as green-flag pit stops cycled through. He would lead most of the second-half of the race, but slid back in the closing laps to finish fourth.
Career at Toronto: In five starts on the Streets of Toronto, Dixon has earned one podium and four top-five finishes. His career-best result at Toronto came last year when he started and finished second. He has an average start 9.5 and an average finish of fifth. He has completed 448 out of 462 laps (96.9%) on the 1.75-mile circuit.
Toronto Rewind: Dixon started last year’s race in second and ran inside the top-two until a full-course caution came out during a cycle of green flag pit-stops on lap 31. After falling outside of the top-10, Dixon used a lap 37 restart to move the No. 9 Target Honda into sixth before another yellow flew on lap 39. He re-entered the top-five on lap 47 and drove back into the top-three with less than 20 laps to go. In the end, Dixon came home second, his sixth consecutive top-10 finish at that point of the season.
Strong on the Streets: In 41 career Indy car street circuit starts, Dixon has earned three wins, 10 podiums, two poles and led 220 laps. He has an average start of 7.4 and an average finish of 11.9.
Leading the way: Dixon has led the most laps in four races this season (St. Pete: 37; Barber: 38; Detroit: 60; Texas: 133).
In the Points: After finishing fourth in Iowa, Dixon remains third in the IZOD IndyCar point standings, but is closing the margin on leader Will Power. Dixon has 271 points, -15 behind Power.
Making History: Dixon is a two-time IZOD IndyCar Series Champion, earning titles in 2003 and 2008. Dixon holds sole possession of 11th on the all-time wins list with 28 victories and is tied with Bobby Rahal and Rex Mays for 16th on the all-time poles list with 18.
DARIO FRANCHITTI AND THE NO. 10 TARGET TEAM
Franchitti on Twitter: Catch the latest from the driver of the No. 10 Target Honda by following Franchitti’s personal twitter account, @dariofranchitti.
Franchitti Flies: A former pilot himself, Franchitti was recently among more than 1,000 guests in Texas, including Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, at an event to view the new X3 hybrid helicopter at American Eurocopter. The X3 can cruise at 264 mph, considerably faster than a conventional helicopter, and demonstrates unique maneuverability. Following a public unveiling, Franchitti attended a briefing conducted by Eurocopter flight test engineers to go over the characteristics of the X3 before climbing into the co-pilot seat for a 20-minute test run.
Iowa Recap: Franchitti lined up first on the grid for the second straight week after winning his qualifying heat race. While running under the pace laps, Franchitti radioed to his Target crew that the engine sounded off. Shortly after that radio transmission, the No. 10 Target Honda suffered a mechanical failure, forcing Franchitti to retire from the race before taking the green flag.
Career at Toronto: Franchitti returns to the Streets of Toronto as the defending champion of last year’s event. After starting third, Franchitti led 30 laps en route to his fourth victory of the season. The driver of the No. 10 Target Honda will make his 10th start on the Streets of Toronto this weekend. In nine starts, Franchitti has collected three wins (1999, 2009, 2011), three poles (1997, 1998, 2009), four podiums and led 268 laps.
Toronto Rewind: The No. 10 Target team started third in last year’s race and kept the No. 10 Target Honda inside the top-three for much of the early portion of the event. Using pit strategy, Franchitti took the lead for the first time on lap 33. He led the next 16 laps before a caution on lap 49 put the Target team back to fifth. He wasted little time moving back into the top-three and re-took the lead with 14 laps remaining. Franchitti held on to the top spot and took the checkered flag 0.7345-seconds ahead of Target teammate, Dixon.
King of the Streets: In his Indy car career, Franchitti has participated in 64 races on street circuits, earning 11 wins, 10 poles, 25 podiums and leading 789 laps. He has an average start of 5.8 and an average finish of 7.6.
In the Points: Franchitti sits eighth in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 216 points, -70 markers behind Power.
Making History: Franchitti is a four-time IZOD IndyCar Series Champion, bringing home titles in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011. Franchitti is tied for seventh on the all-time wins list with 31. With back-to-back poles at Milwaukee and Iowa, Franchitti moved past Al Unser to take sole-possession of eighth on the all-time poles list with 28.