IRL, Chevrolet changing engines for Long Beach race

IRL headlines

 2.      Rahal to be featured in INDYCAR 363.      Busy Week for Bobby Rahal

4.      Of note1. Chevrolet changing engines for Long Beach race: Most Chevrolet personnel skipped lunch in the IZOD IndyCar Series paddock April 12 as they were busy trading out all 11 V-6 engines in cars entered in the 38th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.The decision was made following the tear down and inspection of the engine in the No. 27 car of Andretti Autosport that experienced an issue during a team test April 9 at Infineon Raceway.Per the IZOD IndyCar Series rulebook, each of the 11 entries will be levied a 10-grid position penalty to start the 85-lap race April 15 on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit because of an unapproved engine change. Rules 15.3.1 and outline the penalty for a change-out if the engine has not reached its minimum mileage threshold of 1,850 miles."We are still learning the limitations of the new engine controls calibration," said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing's IZOD IndyCar Series program manager. "Through our testing in Sonoma, as indicated by an engine issue, we uncovered a problem that we believe could affect all engines. So, as a result, we feel it is prudent to change all engines prior to the start of the on-track activities this weekend."Team owner/driver Ed Carpenter was philosophical when informed of the penalty."It's definitely going to make things interesting," Carpenter said. "It's obviously not ideal, but we're all playing by the same rules. It's the safest choice and, even though we're starting at a disadvantage from the get-go, it's better than potentially having an issue later on. It's a learning process for all of us, and it's not a decision they made lightly."Berube echoed that sentiment."We intently discussed the situation with our partners and our teams prior to determining that this was the best course of action to preserve the integrity of the racing in the IZOD IndyCar Series," he said.Through the first two races, Chevrolet's 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engine has recorded two victories and two poles (one of each by Team Penske's Helio Castroneves and Will Power). Castroneves is the series championship points leader by two over Scott Dixon of Honda-powered Target Chip Ganassi Racing.Drivers affected by the decision: Carpenter; Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe and Marco Andretti of Andretti Autosport; Rubens Barrichello, Tony Kanaan and E.J. Viso of KV Racing Technology; JR Hildebrand of Panther Racing and Castroneves, Power and Ryan Briscoe of Team Penske."I was already penalized the 10 spots before the decision to change out all Chevy engines," said James Hinchcliffe, driver of the No. 27 car. "It's a bummer, but now at least I'm not alone. There will now be some good racing happening mid-pack. The engine mileage rule is a tremendous engineering challenge and ultimately helps improve technology for the automotive industry."In an era of multiple manufacturers you sometimes have to exceed limits to know where they truly are. Chevy has been an incredible partner since the new cars arrived. They have won the first two races, from pole, and I'm proud to wear the bowtie on my chest. It would be easy to complain about how harsh (the penalty) is, but I think the attitude of everyone on the Go Daddy crew is that when the going gets tough, it's time to nut up, buckle down and push hard for the best result possible. And that's exactly what we're going to do."On April 11, the IZOD IndyCar Series announced that the No. 7 Lotus Dragon Racing car driven by three-time Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach winner would incur the same penalty for changing the Lotus engine following the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. He finished a season-high ninth.2. Rahal to be featured in INDYCAR 36: Just about everywhere Graham Rahal ventured during the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama weekend at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., an IMS Productions camera was rolling for "INDYCAR 36."The second episode, which provides a behind-the-scenes look at IZOD IndyCar Series drivers on race weekends, airs at 3 p.m. (ET) April 15 on NBC Sports Network as the lead-in to coverage of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach."They followed me quite a lot and sometimes it was 'OK, can I just please go here on my own,' but it was an interesting experience," Rahal said. "I was glad I got picked to do it and hope everybody enjoys it."Rahal, driving the No. 38 Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing car, is coming off a fourth place at Barber."I'm very excited to get back racing this weekend and particularly excited for the Grand Prix," he said. "It's one of the most iconic races around the world, and I would love to break through and grab a win here. Our team is eager to keep the momentum moving forward."KV Racing Technology driver Tony Kanaan was the subject of the first episode and Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay will be featured in "INDYCAR 36" leading into the NBC Sports Network's coverage of the Sao Paulo Indy 300 (11:30 a.m. ET) April 29."You don't realize when you shoot them how it's going to come out, and I can't thank the NBC guys enough for what they did," Kanaan said. "I'm getting very positive feedback from everywhere. We tried to have some fun and be as natural as we could, so I hope everyone liked it."3. Busy Week for Bobby Rahal: The 38th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach week is busy for Bobby Rahal.As president of the Road Racing Drivers Club, he'll preside over the fourth annual West Coast banquet honoring race car driver and Indy car innovator Jim Hall on April 12.He'll also spend much of the weekend on pit lane, overseeing the efforts of Takuma Sato in the No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing car and the BMW Team RLL in the American Le Mans Series race on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street course.Of course, he'd like to close the weekend with his first Indy car victory at Long Beach.Rahal competed in Long Beach as a driver eight times (1984-1991) and as a driver/owner seven times (1992-1998). He started from the front row twice and finished second four times (1988, 1991, 1992, 1993), and Jimmy Vasser brought the team another runner-up finish in 2002.The next year - the team's last time to compete in the Indy car race -- Michel Jourdain Jr. won pole, led a field-high 48 laps and was in the lead when his car stuck in gear on his final stop with seven laps to go and retired in 15th place. Last year, the BMW team of Joey Hand and Dirk Müller gave Rahal his first victory at Long Beach.Drink up in Milwaukee: Milwaukee IndyFest announced RC Cola, a soft-drink brand of Dr Pepper Snapple Group, as the Official Soft Drink of IndyFest, and have placed a limited number of VIP pit passes on sale at and at the Wisconsin State Fair Park box office (414-266-7100).The IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights event is June 15-16.4. Of note:  The Firestone Firehawk primary and alternate tires for Long Beach were previously used this season at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, and will be used at all street course events this year. ... Drivers from seven different teams are in the top 10 in championship points. … Charlie Kimball's live blog ( captures his post-session thoughts, race day prep and behind-the-scenes photos from the driver of the No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing car at his "hometown" race. He's from Camarillo, Calif., and will have more than 50 family members and friends in the grandstands for the race. Kimball made stops to Newport Beach Children's Hospital and Miller Children's Hospital earlier in the week to speak with children and families coping with diabetes. … With podium finishes in each of the first two races, Helio Castroneves leads the IZOD IndyCar Series standings. He won from the pole at Long Beach in 2001. ... Lotus Dreyer & Reinbold Racing has renewed its partnership with Wallingford, Conn.-based Lawrence Holdings Inc., a high temperature and specialty alloy distributor. ... Sir Speedy-Monrovia has partnered with Lotus HVM Racing as the team's Official Provider of Printing and Marketing Services.***The 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season continues with the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 15 on the Streets of Long Beach, Calif. The race will be telecast live at 3:30 p.m. (ET) by NBC Sports Network. The IMS Radio Network will also carry the race live on XM Channel 94 and Sirius 212. The next Firestone Indy Lights race is the Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 15. It will be telecast by NBC Sports Network at 5 p.m. (ET) on April 19.