New IndyCars turn a few laps at Las Vegas

Fans at Las Vegas Motor Speedway got a sneak peek Saturday at

the 2012 IndyCar season.

Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay climbed into Chevrolet’s

prototype car and Charlie Kimball of Chip Ganassi Racing got behind

the wheel of the new Honda to turn five demonstration laps before

the NASCAR trucks race.

The new cars and engines will roll out for the 2012 season after

IndyCar decided to open up the series to a variety of engines and


Dallara will continue to provide the chassis after having its

design picked from among five manufacturers and Lotus will join

Chevy and Honda in providing engines. Lotus is reportedly waiting

for its engine to be delivered from Italy before beginning


Chevy recently started its testing, doing a shakedown at Putnam

Park in Indianapolis and a two-day test at Mid-Ohio with Team

Penske driver Will Power.

Chevy, which will supply V-6 engines to Penske, Andretti

Autosport, and Panther Racing, will stay in Las Vegas after

Sunday’s season finale for a Ryan Briscoe test. Power will do

another test Nov. 14-15 at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama.

”It was awesome driving out with a turbo; first time since

2007,” Power said. ”The test went flawlessly as far as the

engine. I did 190 laps and was revving it up well. It was a

successful test and we’ll continue to ramp it up and have the

engine better.”

The new engine platform called for the ethanol-fueled engines to

be up to six cylinders, allow for turbocharging and produce between

550 and 700 horsepower, depending on the type of course the series

is racing. The current engines are eight cylinders and produce

about 650 horsepower.

The series will have multiple manufacturers developing aero kits

for the new Dallara chassis.

NEW TROPHY: IndyCar will have a new trophy for the winner of

this year’s series title.

The new trophy has a more conventional form – a large, sterling

silver cup – than the abstract art trophy presented to Dario

Franchitti after last year’s final race.

The Astor Challenge Cup was originally commissioned by Vincent

Astor, son of industrialist John Jacob Astor, for a a 350-mile race

on a two-mile board track at Sheepshead Bay, N.Y., in 1915.

The trophy features the names of all national champions from

IndyCar racing from 1909 etched into the two black granite bases –

a tribute to the series’ inclusion of statistics from all previous

sanctioning bodies into its record book.

”We sought to blend heritage and tradition with our future,”

IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said. ”It was very important for us to

find a trophy that was a piece of art that drivers would truly be

honored to win.”

IRONMEN: Tony Kanaan and Vitor Meira had a unique preparation

for this weekend’s season finale: They competed in the Ironman

Triathlon last weekend in Hawaii.

The Brazilian drivers, friends and workout partners completed

the grueling triathlon that includes a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile

bike ride and a 26-mile run on Hawaii’s Big Island last


After a few days of recovery, they were in Las Vegas, running

practice laps and qualifying for Sunday’s Las Vegas Indy 300.

Kanaan didn’t seem too worn down after the triathlon; he earned

the pole for Sunday’s race. Meira will start 25th.

”I feel good,” Kanaan said. ”We had four days to recover and

my body feels good.”

Meira completed the triathlon in 12 hours, 24 minutes to finish

1,408th of 1,918 competitors. Kanaan completed it in 12 hours, 52

minutes to finish 1,488th. The pair logged more than 10,000 miles

of training in preparation for the race.

”As an experience, it was very, very cool,” Meira said. ”It

shows what your mind can do. You tell yourself, I am going to do

this. It’s long but you can prepare yourself and you can go through


BRAKES DEAL: Brembo has signed a three-year deal to provide

brakes for the IndyCar series.

The Moorseville, N.C.-based company will initially deliver brake

systems directly to Dallas, manufacturer of the new IndyCar

chassis, and will provide parts and support to teams throughout the


Brembo has supplied brakes for Formula One, Grand Prix 2 and the

LeMans series, and its history in North American open-wheel racing

started with the 1989 CART championship.

PIT STOPS: Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti will make his

100th career IndyCar start on Sunday, starting sixth. … William

Rast Racing is hosting a concert featuring English Beat on Sunday

night at The House of Blues at Mandalay Bay. The concert, which

will feature numerous IndyCar drivers and celebrities, will benefit

the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation. … Team Penske has a driver

in contention for the season championship for the fourth year in a

row. Helio Castroneves battled Scott Dixon in 2008, Ryan Briscoe

was right there in 2009 and Power has been in position the past two

years. The team didn’t come through with a title in its previous

three chances.