TCGR Brazil advance notes
Race: Streets of Sao Paulo (March 14, 12:00 PM ET, Versus)
Track: Streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil (2.3 mile street course)
Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Managing Director Mike Hull on Brazil: “Our Target group is energized to finally get the 2010 IZOD IndyCar season started with Brazil. When you spend a Midwest winter like we’re having, it keeps every team member under the roof here in Indianapolis working to make our product better.
“The composition of the series has certainly changed with three street races and a natural terrain road track as the first four events. Unlike the wide-open ovals, it’s tough to pass on road & street tracks so it puts a premium on qualifying and race-craft. The common denominator of Franchitti and Dixon is that they are two of the best in the business, who as teammates have won races by sharing the subtleties of the set-up. When you are comparing every bump on a street circuit - that makes a difference.”
Team Target in Brazil: In five visits to Brazil (1996-2000), Team Target has earned one win (Montoya, ’99), one pole (Zanardi, ’96), five top-fives, seven top-10s and has led 275 laps – surpassing all other current IndyCar teams.
Making History Together: Target celebrates its 20th anniversary in open wheel racing with Target Chip Ganassi Racing in 2010. Since the formation of this dominant force in motorsports, the Target IndyCar team has amassed seven championship titles and 74 wins, including two Indianapolis 500 victories. The duo of Scott Dixon (Two-time IndyCar Series Champion and 2008 Indianapolis 500 Winner) and Dario Franchitti (Two-time and reigning IndyCar Series Champion and 2007 Indianapolis 500 Winner) represent Team Target on the track for the second straight season in 2010.
The One and Only: After a one-two sweep of the point standings in 2009, Team Target is the only team to field two drivers who have both won multiple IZOD IndyCar Series championships.
Three of the World’s Best: Target teammates Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon (IndyCar) and Juan Pablo Montoya (NASCAR) were featured in ESPN reporter Terry Blount’s “World’s Best 10 Drivers” article for the 2009 season, making Chip Ganassi the only team owner to have three drivers ranked. The list honored the best of the best and factored in the obstacles they had to overcome. Blount ranked Montoya fifth, Franchitti seventh and Dixon ninth.
Pioneer In Racing: TCGR owner Chip Ganassi was honored with the Pioneer in Racing award at the 40th Annual American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association’s (AARWBA) All-America Team Dinner earlier this year. The AARWBA’s oldest and most prestigious award, it recognizes long-time dedication and achievement that have made a difference in the sport.
"Receiving an award like this lets me look back on my career and affords me the opportunity to thank everyone who has helped me along the way," said Ganassi, whose drivers have won the past two IZOD IndyCar Series titles. "I want to thank my parents; they were there on day one about 50 years ago. And I want to thank Target; they were there on day one about 20 years ago. They've both been with me throughout it all. I'm also fortunate to have a guy like (team managing director) Mike Hull to keep everything together.”
Dario Franchitti and the No. 10 Target Team
Dario Picks up Where He Left Off: When Dario Franchitti left the IZOD IndyCar Series at the end of the 2007 season, he had won his first IndyCar championship in dramatic fashion over Scott Dixon, taking the crown in the last turn of the last lap of the last race of the season. In search of a new challenge, he signed with team owner Chip Ganassi to drive in the Sprint Cup Series. After a lack of sponsorship parked Franchitti’s NASCAR ride in June 2008, Ganassi offered Franchitti a chance to return to IndyCar in 2009 driving the No. 10 car. Franchitti made the most of his second opportunity, scoring a career-high five victories in 2009. He was able to win his second IndyCar title by winning the Firestone Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Franchitti joins Dixon and Sam Hornish, Jr. as the only multi-champions in the IRL era of Indy car racing.
Franchitti Awarded Driver of the Year: Dario Franchitti was awarded the Jerry Titus Award at the 40th Annual American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association’s (AARWBA) All-America Team Dinner earlier this year. The Titus Award is given in remembrance of the late racer/journalist and is presented to the top vote-getter over the seven All-America team members as driver of
the year. This was Franchitti’s second recognition as Driver of the Year having won his first Titus Award after winning his first IndyCar Series championship in 2007.
“It’s a privilege to win this award,” said Franchitti. “It’s the kind of thing you share with your team. Winning the Titus Award makes you think of all the guys on the team and the effort they put in as well. I really feel that they should be up there with me accepting this award. It’s a great honor.”
Franchitti’s History in Brazil: Sunday’s race marks Franchitti’s 85th start in the IndyCar Series and his 199th start in open wheel racing. He has had four open wheel starts in Brazil – scoring the pole position at the 1998 Rio 400K with a speed of 172.039 mph.
Scott Dixon and the No. 9 Target Team
Dixon The Contender: Dixon needed just 12 more points to earn a third IndyCar Series championship in 2009 and beat his teammate for the title, but he now has finished first or second in the standings the past three seasons. Since the start of the 2007 season, the Kiwi has won 15 races and posted 33 podium finishes in 52 events.
Dixon Winningest Driver in IRL IndyCar Era: In 2009, Scott Dixon became the winningest driver in the IndyCar Series when he earned his 20th career victory at Mid-Ohio – surpassing the previous record of 19 wins held by Sam Hornish Jr. He has scored 22 wins, 17 poles, 69 top-5 finishes, and 104 top-10 finishes in 152 starts since 2001 in open wheel racing.
Dixon Dominates: Scott Dixon’s racing resume boasts dominant performances in virtually every racing series he has run – winning races on road courses, ovals, and street courses. Since 2001, Dixon has won 22 open-wheel races in three different series, two championships, and the Indy 500. He’s also competed in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series and the American Le Mans Series - winning the Grand-Am Rolex 24 At Daytona, and taking the pole position at the 12 Hours of Sebring.
It’s a First: Sunday’s race will be the first of Dixon’s career competing in Brazil. This will be his 114th IndyCar Series start and his 153rd start in open wheel racing.
Starts Wins Poles Top 5s Top 10s Pts. Pos./(Prev)
Scott Dixon - - - - - -/-
Dario Franchitti - - - - - -/-
CART and IndyCar Series
Starts Wins Poles Top 5s Top 10s
Scott Dixon 152 22 17 69 104
Dario Franchitti 198 23 23 81 119
Mike Hull – Managing Director
Scott Harner – Team Manager (Administrative Operations
Barry Wanser – Team Manager (Racing Operations)
No. 9 (IndyCar)
Crew Chief/(R/F): Ricky Davis Shocks: Mike Cicciarelli
Engineer: Eric Bretzman Engines/Radio: Troy Scheller
Assistant Engineer: Brian Welling Fueler: Todd DeNeve
Front End/(L/R): Adam Rovazzini Gear Box: Andy Schneider
Front End: Gilbert Swafford Tires/Transport Driver: Jesse Benbow
Rear End/(Air Jack): Mark Sampson Floater (L/F): Wayne Westplate
Rear End/(R/R): Blair Julian Spotter: Robbie Fast
No. 10 (IndyCar)
Crew Chief/(R/F): Kevin O’Donnell Shocks: Mike Cicciarelli
Engineer: Chris Simmons Engines/Radio/(R/R): Troy Scheller
Assistant Engineer: John Hennek Gear Box/Fueler: Robby Page
Front End/(Air Jack): Matt Swan Tires/Truck: Travis Abel
Front End (L/F): Steve Namisnak Transport Driver: Chris Sutton
Rear End/(L/R): Brad Larsen Floater/Front End: Wayne Westplate
Rear End: Dave Pena Spotter: Scott Harner