It is common for those who follow the American open wheel racing scene to make predictions just before a season starts and the silly season becomes officially over.
More Front Wing, an IndyCar news and views website, had the simplest approach to this prediction issue and it serves as a good template and baseline upon what to expect for the 2013 season.
This year is the second, or sophomore, full year the new chassis that was tested by the late Dan Wheldon, and is numerically attached to his memory through the Dallara designation of DW12, will be used to contest the IZOD IndyCar Series season championship. The fact that the series ran a shortened season left the teams with a lot of time to work toward their strategy on how they will choose to compete and win with the familiarization of the turbo-powered and more robust DW12.2.
The original frame delivered one of the most competitive seasons in about 20 years … so, many wonder, now that the standardization of the push-to-pass, which was introduced to the new engine-chassis package last July on the streets of Toronto, if this type of close competitive performance be expected for 2013?
After reading many predictions as to how the 2013 season will play out with the first race of the season – Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg – to be run this weekend, March 22-24, through the streets of St. Petersburg, here are the predictions from The EDJE to get things started.
2013 IICS season predictions using the ‘More Front Wing’ format:
Five different teams were represented in victory lane last season. Will that number be higher or lower this year?
Lower – investments by established teams in their subtle ways of development will show themselves in the DW12 sophomore year – so sophomore developments will rule the day.
Who will surprise everyone by winning a race?
Two drivers top my list … well maybe three –
1) Simona de Silvestro who has won in a strong open wheel field before in the Atlantic series race at Long Beach – good on the streets.
2) Takuma Sato – if AJ can finally deliver on the promise of good equipment.
3) James Jakes – he is with a team – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing – that can really challenge the establishment three of Penske, Ganassi, and Andretti … and Jakes really is a winner.
Who will have a disappointing season?
Takuma Sato – for the same reasons that he can be a surprise … AJ Foyt prepared equipment.
Who will win the Indianapolis 500?
Graham Rahal – the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing crew knows how to win this thing and is hungry to drive like they stole it. Graham has the experience and I believe they will have the set-ups come race day.
Who will be the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series champion?
Will Power – ‘Nuff said.
Here is the NBCSN schedule for the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg:
Saturday, March 23: IndyCar Qualifying at 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 24: Indy Lights: Streets St. Petersburg at 11 a.m.
Sunday, March 24: Honda Indy Grand Prix of St. Petersburg at Noon – ET
Broadband: IndyCar.com also NBCSports.com
Radio: IMS Network and SiriusXM Radio
Tuesday, March 26: Honda Indy Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Re-Air at Midnight
… notes from The EDJE