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Drivers get to grips with DW12 at Sebring

"The DW12 Chevy is fun to drive,” echoed Marco Andretti. "We were able to check off a lot of boxes and got a lot of answers both good and bad."

"It's a different animal, the turbo makes a big difference when you're driving," contributed EJ Viso, saying that the teams still had a huge amount to do to optimise the performance. "I think it's the same for everybody ... The drivers also need more seat time, too."

For Helio Castroneves, the biggest challenge could well be trying to remember which foot to brake with: after an entire racing career with right-foot braking, he's having to get used to using his left foot this year in the DW12.

"It will take some time to adapt, but that's why we're out here testing,"he said. "Actually, it's kind of fun - like go-karts. The only [left-foot braking] car I drove was in a F1 test in 2002."

The new DW12 chassis also reduces the number of foot pedals from three to two, with the moving of the clutch to the paddle shift system in the steering wheel; and the car also features new carbon brakes for the drivers to get used to.

"Getting a handle on the carbon brakes is definitely a task," admitted JR Hildebrand. “In the end, the braking performance will be better."

"The brakes are awesome!” enthused Graham Rahal. "They have a serious amount of grip - by far the best braking system I've had on an IndyCar!

"The car also has a ton of downforce, that's something you also feel right away," Rahal continued, after an "awesome" day of testing. "It's nice to drive and for once I fit comfortably and safely!"

After recent concerns about the handling of the DW12 through banked oval corners, the drivers seemed much happier with how the car performed on road courses.

“With the old car, you had chronic understeer everywhere you went,” explained Hildebrand. "With this car, the weight distribution almost helps the car turn through the corner a lot better," adding that he was also happy with the way that Chevrolet had all-but eliminated the lag in how the turbo power is fed in out of the turns. “It kicks in more heavily out of the corner, all at once."




Related Pictures

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Photo of the new 2012 specification Dallara chassis, unveiled at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 10 2011 with the cars grouped around the historic
The new DW12 is tested at Las Vegas Motor Speedway by Honda and Chevrolet drivers
Ryan Hunter-Reay in the 2012 IndyCar Dallara, with Chevrolet power. [Picture copyright: General Motors and Wieck Media Services, Inc]
Ryan Hunter-Reay on track the 2012 IndyCar Dallara, with Chevrolet power. [Picture copyright: General Motors and Wieck Media Services, Inc]
Ryan Hunter-Reay sitting on the 2012 IndyCar Dallara, with Chevrolet power. [Picture copyright: General Motors and Wieck Media Services, Inc]
Ryan Hunter-Reay sits in his car during a rain delay at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
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Ryan Hunter-Reay with an early pit stop during the Pocono INDYCAR 500 (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves leads Ryan Briscoe (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, July 6, 2014 during the Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag as he races to victory Sunday, July 6, 2014 during the Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, July 6, 2014 during the Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, July 6, 2014 during the Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6,  celebrates winning pole position for the Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Montoya won the pole and will start in the front row next to teammate Will Power, who qualified second. (Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6,  celebrates winning pole position for the Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Montoya won the pole and will start in the front row next to teammate Will Power, who qualified second. (Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6,  celebrates winning pole position for the Pocono IndyCar 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Montoya won the pole and will start in the front row next to teammate Will Power, who qualified second. (Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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Don - Unregistered

January 20, 2012 6:46 PM

The new car is growing on me. I thought it was hideous initially, but they look pretty good in full livery. Hopefully, the safety features will keep the cars on the ground on high speed ovals. Can't wait for the season to start!



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