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Old 08-18-2012, 11:25 PM
MCSL MCSL is offline
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Mid Ohio 2012 IndyCar vs. 1999 CART

For 2012, and with the new Dallara DW12 chassis and turbocharged 2.2-liter V6 engines set to race at Mid-Ohio, Will Power ended up coming closest to topping Franchitti's 1999 record.

With something in the vicinity of 700 horsepower to play with-about 200 less than Franchitti had, Firestone Reds and more downforce than any Indy car, Power came up just .3 seconds shy of Franchitti's 1:05.347-second standard with a lap of 1:05.647.

Knowing that it has yet to surpass Mid-Ohio's 13-year-old qualifying record, it might sound odd to heap praise on the DW12 platform, but with a bit of context thrown in, it makes sense.

Furious development and inconceivable engine budgets fueled the 1999 season, as did the Firestone/Goodyear wars and heated competition between four chassis manufacturers. In terms of unrestricted, balls out CART seasons, 1999 and 2000 was the series' peak.

Fast forward to 2012, and by comparison, the DW12 is filled with compromises and limited creativity. Sure, three engine manufacturers offer variety in the powerplant department, but the IndyCar Series has actually gotten more restrictive. Where teams were allowed to manufacture a wide array of components on their own for the Dallara IR07, the DW12 is completely spec.

Although teams are allowed to use the dampers of their choice, those must conform to a spec and the car's suspension and aerodynamics-the two areas where CART teams innovated on a regular basis-cannot be modified.

With a rather tight box to work within and almost 25 percent less power to use, the fact that Power got so close to Franchitti's record is more than remarkable.

Given the chance to apply the same open-minded approach to the DW12-similar to what the Reynard 99i received, and with the green light to turn up the boost on the current V6 turbos, Power's pole could have easily been in the 1:03-second range.

Sebastien Bourdais in a 2007 Panoz-Cosworth could also have broken the record.

Last edited by MCSL; 08-19-2012 at 10:16 PM.
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