IndyCar Begins Busy Off-Season

The 2012 Indianapolis 500 will have a different look and sound than what we have seen in the past decade. Testing began today with Tony Kanaan and Dario Franchitti taking laps on the legendary 2.5 mile venue.

Kanaan is participating in the Chevrolet engine development program this week at IMS. Franchitti will be testing the new Honda machine this week as well. The 2012 engines move from the normal V8, to the turbocharged V6 engine that will utilize E85 fuel. Chevrolet and Lotus are both being powered by twin turbos.

Thanks to this video from AndyBakerIUPUI on YouTube, we have this video from both drivers as they turned laps around the track today. The sound is incredible, especially when you consider there will be 31other variations of it come May.

It was also announced this week that Bobby Rahal is returning fulltime, fielding two cars in 2012. There is also the possibility of a third car for Indianapolis. Rahal/Letterman Racing won the 2004 Indy 500 with Buddy Rice, and gave Danica Patrick her start in the Series in 2005. Since 2009, they have only been a part-time team.

The team hasn’t named a driver or even an engine choice for their program, but they did confirm that they are using their shop in Columbus, Ohio with the possibility of using a satellite shop in Indianapolis during the season.

Possibly the biggest news of this week was announced today when Ed Carpenter revealed his plans to create his own team. Carpenter will be leaving Sarah Fisher Racing, with a three-year committment from sponsor Fuzzy’s Vodka.

Carpenter has been a part-time driver for each of the past two seasons, but he will be back full-time next year with his new team. He won his first race this year at Kentucky with Sarah Fisher Racing. Ed Carpenter Racing will be owned and operated by Ed Carpenter and Tony George.

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