2012 Indy 500: Andretti Autosport preaches teamwork in year of Indy 500 change

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SPEEDWAY – Together they flew down the straight away, in the turns and chutes, racing back-and-forth as a team.

James Hinchclifffe, Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay Sebastian Saavedra and Ana Beatriz. Each take turns running in tandem over the first three days of practice for the Indianapolis 500.

In what has been a rather calm first few days of May, the competition among the teammates has been a welcome sight for fans.

“It’s what its all about” said Andretti of teammwork in the Month of May. “The good thing is we’re spread pretty wide. Having four teammates is pretty awesome.”

Especially during this unusual month at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where the 96th running of the “Greatest Spectacle” will feature an entirely new Dallara chassis along with engine competition for the first time in over a decade.

Andretti Autosport has gone with Chevy for the 2012 season, adding yet another wrinkle to a year full of change in Indianapolis.

“When you’re coming here with such a new car, we have so much to get through,” said Hinchcliffe-but luckily he along with the rest of his teammates have help.

With a field-high five participants Andretti has the unique ability to obtain a significant amount of data on setup over the next week of practice before qualifying. Rather than focus on preparing each car specifically to succeed, the team has tried to pools its information to help everyone get adjusted to the changes for this season.

“With all of us working five cars as one, it’s working out really well,” said Hunter-Reay of the team’s chemistry. “Everybody’s trying different changes in their cars and putting them on each other’s cars and its all translating.”

Over the first three days it has on the speed charts. With help from teammates on a tow, Saavedra clocked the fastest speed of the day on Sunday afternoon. A day later, the team’s success was even better as they claimed three of the top five spots at the top.

Hunter-Reay was second-quick on Monday by getting a fast lap of 221.639 with Andretti just a bit behind at 221.519. Saavedra was strong for a second straight day as he grabbed fifth on the speed charts with Hinchcliffe 10th fastest and Beatriz 13th.

“As a team we devised this plan, we’ve got five cars to spread the work over,” said Hinchcliffe of the team’s philosophy. “I’ve been super impressed that we’ve actually been able to stick to a plan.”

Of course as Andretti knows the work must continue to help each improve individually before qualifications begin Saturday.

“I’m not too pleased with our pace alone, obviously at the end of the day everybody¬†is doing tow laps but alone we could be quicker but we all know the race doesn’t play out to always the quickest guy,” said Andretti.

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