PHOTO CREDIT: Jim Haines/INDYCAR.
The question is obvious as soon as you hear about the situation: With other drivers adapting to left-foot braking on the Dallara DW12, why is Dario Franchitti (above, celebrating his victory at Toronto last season) getting to stay as a right-foot braker with the help of Dallara’s new braking assembly?
Well, if you’ve won four of the last five IZOD IndyCar Series championships, would you want to change the routine that has made you successful?
The Italian constructor created the new, INDYCAR-approved braking kit for Franchitti, who utilized it late last week in the “Spring Training” session at Sebring International Raceway. According to the series, the new kit will be available on request to anybody else.
In a piece from INDYCAR’s Dave Lewandowski, Franchitti cited “performance purposes” and his belief that it would’ve taken more time to get as comfortable with left-foot braking as he already was with right-foot braking.
The former isn’t surprising. Everyone wants an edge. But the latter seems like a legitimate reason to me. Consider how tight the championship has been in recent years. The field’s level of competition has grown higher and higher, and if Franchitti wants to defend the mountaintop he’s claimed for his own, he can’t spend too much time mucking around with this problem.
I would think that coming from a competitor’s standpoint, it never hurts to try and remove one new, unknown variable when you’re going into a season filled with them (the two biggest being the cars and engines, of course). Franchitti tried and did remove a variable that he felt directly impacted him.
The good news is that everyone else can remove that particular variable too, if they feel the need to do so.