In a season through which Group Penske-Chevrolet landed 9 wins, Ganassi took solely 4 – however the truth that one got here within the Indianapolis 500. And whereas Dixon, Alex Palou and Marcus Ericsson completed third, fifth and sixth within the ultimate factors desk, none of them entered the 2022 finale with a really lifelike shot on the title.
For Dixon, who gained the road races in Toronto and Nashville, Ganassi’s weak spot was clear.
“I believe the outlier was undoubtedly street programs, the place we had inconsistency both between the vehicles or typically,” he mentioned. “None of us received a pole, and I might say proper now the street course type of tire mixture might be Alex’s specialty, he is extraordinarily good at it, and to see him not get a pole I believe means undoubtedly one thing that was lacking.
“There have been undoubtedly some cases the place we made fairly heavy errors, I believe, on the #9 automotive facet – simply not being in the suitable configuration or doing foolish issues that should not have been achieved. However I believe there was two fairly large issues within the low season that we noticed that we had been in all probability doing unsuitable after which additionally not emphasizing sufficient on. I hope that when we get to the primary few rounds of street programs that that understanding of what we’re lacking undoubtedly helps.
“I believe exterior of that, our different packages have been fairly robust. You retain working at it within the low season is the place a lot of the preparation is completed for understanding type of your weaknesses, and that was undoubtedly a giant outlier for us.”
Given the dearth of IndyCar testing on momentary programs, it appears unusual that groups have a tendency to not complain about looking for robust streetcourse setups for the Firestone compounds, however creating setups round Firestone’s rubber for roadcourses – the place IndyCar can take a look at – has been a battle for a lot of.
“Yeah, there’s some outliers that we had been doing fairly unsuitable,” mentioned Dixon, “so I believe that might emphasize extra of that circuit kind, should you have a look at the consistency or the inconsistency for us. The tire, too, is sort of delicate now. It performs to some driving types just a little bit simpler than others, in order that’s type of one other window you have to unlock just a little bit.
“It is onerous to clarify and get into it too deep with out type of giving some issues away!”
One of many keys to Penske’s robust type might be attributed to a giant leap by Chevrolet within the earlier low season, however Dixon is satisfied that Honda Efficiency Improvement can retaliate.
“I do know one factor is that Honda won’t ever lie down or hand over. That is for positive. Typically getting beat actually does assist fireplace that. I believe throughout the board, as a associate, we did not do possibly nearly as good a job as we might have, however I do know even speaking to David Salters [HPD president] a number of occasions within the low season and at Daytona, they’re flat out, man.
“The tough half now could be that it is a very mature engine. It has been round for a really very long time. To seek out some large features could be extraordinarily powerful. However I believe, once more, it is like several of the method that we undergo, say on the Indy 500: it is by no means one, two, three, 4 or 5 large issues, it is all the time a whole lot of small particulars that you have to get proper.
“ I do know they will not cease working. It’ll be good.”