Crash.Net IndyCar News
Franchitti: 'we can fix the car' for 2012
28 December 2011
Dario Franchitti is confident that he and his team, Chip Ganassi Racing, will be able to address some of the initial teething problems with the new 2012 IndyCar Safety Cell standardised chassis in time for the sart of the new season at St Petersburg in March.
"I've seen a couple of articles written that talk about the imbalances of the car and stuff," said Franchitti, referring to stories about a weight imbalance
on the car on ovals causing oversteer into corners and understeer out of them on high speed ovals, as well as too much aerodynamic drag causing the car to be 10-15mph under the expected speeds.
"Hopefully they can come up with an elegant engineering solution to fixing the problems of the imbalance the car's had," Franchitti continued. "We're starting to fix that ... Scott [Dixon] says they're starting to make some progress now. But for me it's very important that the series allows us to fix the car and to work with the car and not paint us into too tight a box."
Franchitti said that the car as currently configured actually suited his style, but he was aware that it wasn't going to be to everyone's liking.
"It's one thing saying everybody must drive the same stuff, but that's going to suit certain drivers and hurt other drivers. They need to allow that latitude to adjust the car to everybody's different driving styles," he insisted. "The thing about Scott and I, we have such different driving styles, I think we can sort of really give both extremes to the team working on the car."
Franchitti's team boss Chip Ganassi pointed out that the outgoing chassis had taken two year or more to bed in as well and agreed that everybody has questions about the new car.
"This new car is somewhat of a revolution. It might take a little extra time to get it what I would say right for everybody, not necessarily right for just one or two teams," he said. "I don't think anybody is saying anybody's perfect here or everybody is imperfect. It's just a process we have to go working through. The mere fact that the car didn't come out of the box at the current performance level of a car that's been being developed for 12 years, I don't think that's the end of the world. We just need to buckle down and get to work on it.
"Having been in the sport a long time, you just need a dose of reality every once in a while," he continued. "With a new car, they don't fall off the truck and set new lap records right out of the box. I mean, you have to take your time and work into that slowly, do the right thing. They take a little tweaking sometimes, ie every car in the past. That's all."
"We can fix this, we can fix the car," insisted Franchitti. "We've done it before, as Chip says. All the teams have done it before. We can fix it if we're allowed to fix it. Hopefully we can do that."
Dario said that he was genuinely enjoying the challenge of getting the new car into shape, after so many years of the series relying on the same old tried-and-tested equipment that everyone had come to know inside out.
"It's been fun and a little frustrating, too," he said, having not had the chance to take the new car out in track since November. "I really have enjoyed - fully expected to - working with Honda again, tweaking the bits and pieces, working on all those areas we know we'll need to get right to be competitive. That's been a lot of fun."
As well as the new chassis, there's also the return to the series of multiple engine manufacturers to the competition, which should add a fascinating new dimension to the series in 2012.
"With the manufacturer race that's coming up as well with Lotus, Chevy and Honda, I'm excited about that part of it," Franchitti said. "It's going to be interesting to see who gets it right, who doesn't get it so right, so closely they're going to be matched. That's one part of it. I have total faith in the Target team they'll get as much as they possibly can out of this car."