The Ups and Downs of Sonoma Raceway Next on the Schedule for Chevrolet IndyCar V6 Teams and Drivers
DETROIT – August 22, 2012 – The inaugural season of Chevrolet’s re-entry into IZOD IndyCar Series competition is rapidly nearing the finish line. Sonoma Raceway is next up for the Chevrolet IndyCar V6-powered teams.
Situated in the scenic landscape in Sonoma County, just north of San Francisco, California, Sonoma Raceway has long been a favorite track of drivers and fans. But for the running of GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on Sunday afternoon, the 2.31-mile, 12-turn permanent road course has undergone some changes to turns seven, nine and 11 designed to enhance passing opportunities.
In addition, IndyCar officials have made an adjustment to the push-to-pass assist for round 13 of the 15-race 2012 season. A total of 90 seconds will be afforded drivers, with a maximum of 15 seconds per activation.
“After mostly positive reports from our Chevrolet IndyCar V6 teams and drivers that tested on the new configuration at Sonoma Raceway, this weekend’s race should be competitive and exciting,’ said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager, IZOD IndyCar Series. “Of course, it won’t be without its challenges. In addition to the changes made to the track, the specifications for the push-to-pass have been changed from a 5 second delay to a 3.5 second delay, based on driver feedback and tailoring the feature to the Sonoma circuit layout. Also, the amount of time available has been reduced by 10 seconds to a total of 90 seconds.”
With the ongoing heated battle for the Series’ Manufacturers’ Championship, as well as four Team Chevy drivers in the top-five of the Driver Championship Standings, the intensity heading to Sonoma is at an all-time high. Chevrolet heads to Sonoma leading the Manufacturer point standings with eight victories to-date.
Will Power sits atop the standings with three victories to his credit through 12 races. Ryan Hunter-Reay, also with three wins, is second in the points order, just five points down to Power. Two-time winner Helio Castroneves is third in points, and James Hinchcliffe rounds out the top-five in the standings.
“As the season is winding down, the battle for the Championship is tight,” Berube concluded. “Every position is valuable points to Team Chevy. Along with our technical partners, we are focused on providing all of our teams with the best possible tools to finish at the front for maximum points. We believe the continued focus on preparation, strategy and execution are the keys to success in the IZOD IndyCar Series Championship.”
In previous IndyCar races at Sonoma, four current Chevrolet IndyCar V6 drivers have visited the Winner’s Circle. Power is the defending race champion, and also took the win in 2010. Castroneves took the trip to Victory Lane in 2008. Marco Andretti was the Sonoma race winner in 2006, and Tony Kanaan captured the win in 2005.
Chevrolet competed previously in Indy-style competition as an engine manufacturer in 1986-93 and 2002-05 with V-8 engines, winning 105 races, that powered Chevrolet to six driver champions, and included seven Indianapolis 500 victories.
The 85-lap GoPro Indy Grand Prix at Sonoma is scheduled to start on Sunday, August 26, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. ET with live television coverage on the NBC Sports Network.