Apr 11, 2012
The No. 7 Lotus Dragon Racing and No. 27 Andretti Autosport cars will incur 10-grid position penalties for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 15 as the result of unapproved engine changes pursuant to rules 15.3.1 and 15.6.1 of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series rulebook.
The Chevrolet engine in the No. 27 GoDaddy.com car driven by James Hinchcliffe developed an issue during a team test April 9 at Infineon Raceway, which requires a fresh engine to be installed prior to the first practice session April 13 on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn Long Beach temporary street circuit. Similarly, the Lotus engine in the No. 7 Lotus Dragon Racing car of Sebastien Bourdais was replaced following the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on April 1.
Hinchcliffe, the 2011 Sunoco Rookie of the Year, has top-10 finishes in both races this season. Bourdais, a three-time winner on the Long Beach course, provided Lotus with its initial top-10 finish (ninth) in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.
Chevrolet, Honda and Lotus engines can only be replaced without penalty when they reach their mileage limit of 1,850 or if they sustain a failure during a race.
"Basically, it's a self-imposed penalty that (the three manufacturers) decided would be appropriate to keep them from trying to outspend each other," INDYCAR president of competition and IZOD IndyCar Series Race Director Beaux Barfield said.
They are the fourth and fifth such penalties this season.
At St. Petersburg, Fla., Honda Performance Development engineers advised an engine change in the No. 77 Schmidt-Hamilton HP car driven by Simon Pagenaud following the initial practice session. He started 16th in the 100-lap race on the 1.8-mile street course and charged to sixth place.
At Barber Motorsports Park, the Lotus engine in the No. 98 Team Barracuda-BHA car was changed before the initial practice session on the 2.38-mile road course. The Lotus engine in the No. 22 Lotus Dreyer & Reinbold Racing car was swapped out after practice. Oriol Servia, driving the No. 22 entry, made up 13 positions to finish 13th in the 90-lap race.