2003 IndyCar Series

  (Redirected from 2003 IndyCar Series season)

The 2003 IRL IndyCar Series brought some of the biggest changes in its history. The league adopted the name IndyCar Series, after a settlement with CART prohibiting its use had expired. Several former CART teams brought their full operations to the IRL, most notably major squads Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti Green Racing, as well as former CART engine manufacturers Toyota and Honda, replacing Infiniti who shifted its efforts to the new feeder series Infiniti Pro Series. Many of the IRL's old guard including Robbie Buhl, Greg Ray, and Buddy Lazier had difficulty competing in this new manufacturer-driven landscape. The league also added its first international race this year, taking over the CART date at Twin Ring Motegi.

2003 IndyCar season
IndyCar Series
Season
Races16
Start dateMarch 2
End dateOctober 17
Awards
Drivers' championNew Zealand Scott Dixon
Rookie of the YearUnited Kingdom Dan Wheldon
Indianapolis 500 winnerBrazil Gil de Ferran
← 2002 (IRL)
2004 →
Scott Dixon (left) won his first Drivers' Championship while Gil de Ferran (right) finished second in the championship while winning the 2003 Indianapolis 500.

The season's most successful entrants were Ganassi and Team Penske that had made the switch already the year before. New Zealander Scott Dixon won the opening race of the season at Homestead and ran very consistently all year long to win his first title at the age of 23. Gil de Ferran won Penske's third consecutive Indianapolis 500 in May and finished second to Dixon in the title race. The finale however was marred by a severe incident that nearly killed former series' champion and Indy 500 winner Kenny Bräck. De Ferran won the race with Dixon in second being well enough to seal the title. Bräck would eventually recover; however, Tony Renna, a Ganassi development driver, lost his life in a test crash at Indianapolis after the season had officially ended.

2003 was also the first and only engine title for Toyota and also first Asian and Japanese car manufacturer to won IndyCar Series IRL-era engine manufacturer's title and thus ending seven-year American engine manufacturer's supremacy. As of 2019, 2003 was also the last chassis manufacturer title victory for Panoz G-Force Technologies to date.

Team and driver chartEdit

Team Chassis Engine No Drivers Rounds
A. J. Foyt Enterprises Dallara
G-Force[N 1]
Toyota 5   Shigeaki Hattori 1–4
  Jaques Lazier[N 2] 5–8
14   A. J. Foyt IV All
41   Airton Daré 4
Access Motorsports G-Force Honda 13   Greg Ray 3–16
Andretti Green Racing Dallara Honda 7   Michael Andretti 1–4
  Dan Wheldon 16
11   Tony Kanaan All
26   Dan Wheldon 4–15
27 3
  Dario Franchitti 1–2, 6
  Robby Gordon 4
  Bryan Herta 5, 7–16
Beck Motorsports Dallara Honda 54   Shinji Nakano 3–4
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara Chevrolet 23   Sarah Fisher All
24   Robbie Buhl All
Fernández Racing Dallara Honda 55   Roger Yasukawa All
Hemelgarn Racing Dallara Chevrolet 91   Buddy Lazier 2–14
  Richie Hearn 15–16
Kelley Racing Dallara Toyota 8   Scott Sharp All
31   Al Unser Jr. All
32   Tony Renna 4
Marlboro Team Penske Dallara Toyota 3   Hélio Castroneves All
6   Gil de Ferran 1–2, 6–14, 16
G-Force 4–5, 15
  Alex Barron 3
Mo Nunn Racing Dallara Toyota 12   Tora Takagi 11–12
G-Force 1–10, 13–16
20   Alex Barron[N 3] 4
21   Felipe Giaffone 1–8, 14–16
  Alex Barron 9–13
Panther Racing Dallara Chevrolet 4   Sam Hornish Jr. All
44   Robby McGehee 4
98   Billy Boat 4
PDM Racing Dallara Chevrolet 18   Scott Mayer[N 4] 1–3
  Jimmy Kite 4
  Ed Carpenter 14–16
Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara Chevrolet 52   Buddy Rice 1–13
  Alex Barron 14–16
Sam Schmidt Motorsports G-Force Toyota 99   Richie Hearn 4
Target Chip Ganassi Racing G-Force Toyota 9   Scott Dixon All
10   Tomas Scheckter All
Team Menard Dallara Chevrolet 2   Jaques Lazier 1–4, 13
  Vítor Meira 5–12, 15–16
  Richie Hearn 14
22   Vítor Meira 4
Team Rahal Dallara Honda 15   Kenny Bräck All
19   Jimmy Vasser 4

Season SummaryEdit

ScheduleEdit

Rnd Date Race Name Track City
1 March 2 Toyota Indy 300 Homestead-Miami Speedway Homestead, Florida
2 March 23 Purex Dial Indy 200 Phoenix International Raceway Phoenix, Arizona
3 April 13 Indy Japan 300 Twin Ring Motegi Motegi, Japan
4 May 25 87th Indianapolis 500 Indianapolis Motor Speedway Speedway, Indiana
5 June 7 Bombardier 500 Texas Motor Speedway Fort Worth, Texas
6 June 15 Honda Indy 225 Pikes Peak International Raceway Fountain, Colorado
7 June 28 SunTrust Indy Challenge Richmond International Raceway Richmond, Virginia
8 July 6 Kansas Indy 300 Kansas Speedway Kansas City, Kansas
9 July 19 Firestone Indy 200 Nashville Superspeedway Lebanon, Tennessee
10 July 27 Firestone Indy 400 Michigan International Speedway Brooklyn, Michigan
11 August 10 Emerson Indy 250 Gateway International Raceway Madison, Illinois
12 August 17 Belterra Casino Indy 300 Kentucky Speedway Sparta, Kentucky
13 August 24 Firestone Indy 225 Nazareth Speedway Nazareth, Pennsylvania
14 September 7 Delphi Indy 300 Chicagoland Speedway Joliet, Illinois
15 September 21 Toyota Indy 400 California Speedway Fontana, California
16 October 12 Chevy 500 Texas Motor Speedway Fort Worth, Texas

BOLD indicates Superspeedways.

Race resultsEdit

Rnd Race Pole position Fastest lap Most Laps Led Winner
1 Homestead-Miami   Tony Kanaan   Tony Kanaan   Gil de Ferran   Scott Dixon
2 Phoenix   Tony Kanaan   Scott Dixon   Tony Kanaan   Tony Kanaan
3 Twin Ring Motegi   Scott Dixon   Tomas Scheckter   Tony Kanaan   Scott Sharp
4 Indianapolis   Hélio Castroneves   Tony Kanaan   Tomas Scheckter   Gil de Ferran
5 Texas 1   Tomas Scheckter   Felipe Giaffone   Tomas Scheckter   Al Unser Jr.
6 Pikes Peak   Tony Kanaan   Tony Kanaan   Scott Dixon   Scott Dixon
7 Richmond   Scott Dixon   Tomas Scheckter   Scott Dixon   Scott Dixon
8 Kansas   Scott Dixon   Tony Kanaan   Gil de Ferran   Bryan Herta
9 Nashville   Scott Dixon   Sam Hornish Jr.   Tony Kanaan   Gil de Ferran
10 Michigan   Tomas Scheckter   Bryan Herta   Sam Hornish Jr.   Alex Barron
11 Gateway   Hélio Castroneves   Scott Dixon   Hélio Castroneves   Hélio Castroneves
12 Kentucky   Sam Hornish Jr.   Sarah Fisher   Sam Hornish Jr.   Sam Hornish Jr.
13 Nazareth   Scott Dixon   Sam Hornish Jr.   Hélio Castroneves   Hélio Castroneves
14 Chicagoland   Richie Hearn   Bryan Herta   Tomas Scheckter   Sam Hornish Jr.
15 Fontana   Hélio Castroneves   Scott Dixon   Tomas Scheckter   Sam Hornish Jr.
16 Texas 2   Gil de Ferran   Tony Kanaan   Gil de Ferran   Gil de Ferran

Race summariesEdit

Toyota Indy 300Edit

This race was held March 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Tony Kanaan won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 9- Scott Dixon
  2. 6- Gil de Ferran
  3. 3- Hélio Castroneves
  4. 11- Tony Kanaan
  5. 8- Scott Sharp
  6. 7- Michael Andretti
  7. 27- Dario Franchitti
  8. 10- Tomas Scheckter
  9. 21- Felipe Giaffone
  10. 4- Sam Hornish Jr.

Purex Dial Indy 200Edit

This race was held March 23 at Phoenix International Raceway. Tony Kanaan won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 11- Tony Kanaan
  2. 3- Hélio Castroneves
  3. 21- Felipe Giaffone
  4. 31- Al Unser Jr.
  5. 15- Kenny Bräck
  6. 2- Jaques Lazier
  7. 8- Scott Sharp
  8. 23- Sarah Fisher
  9. 52- Buddy Rice
  10. 5- Shigeaki Hattori

Inaugural Indy Japan 300Edit

This race was held April 13 at Twin Ring Motegi. Scott Dixon won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 8- Scott Sharp
  2. 15- Kenny Bräck
  3. 21- Felipe Giaffone
  4. 7- Michael Andretti
  5. 31- Al Unser Jr.
  6. 4- Sam Hornish Jr.
  7. 27- Dan Wheldon
  8. 12- Tora Takagi
  9. 13- Greg Ray
  10. 24- Robbie Buhl

87th Indianapolis 500Edit

The 87th Indy 500 was held May 25 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Hélio Castroneves sat on pole but came up just short of the three-peat in the 500.

Top ten results

  1. 6- Gil de Ferran
  2. 3- Hélio Castroneves
  3. 11- Tony Kanaan
  4. 10- Tomas Scheckter
  5. 12- Tora Takagi
  6. 20- Alex Barron
  7. 32- Tony Renna
  8. 13- Greg Ray
  9. 31- Al Unser Jr.
  10. 55- Roger Yasukawa

Bombardier 500Edit

This race was held June 7 at Texas Motor Speedway. Tomas Scheckter won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 31- Al Unser Jr.
  2. 11- Tony Kanaan
  3. 12- Tora Takagi
  4. 15- Kenny Bräck
  5. 27- Bryan Herta
  6. 9- Scott Dixon
  7. 3- Hélio Castroneves
  8. 6- Gil de Ferran
  9. 12- Roger Yasukawa
  10. 4- Sam Hornish Jr.

Honda Indy 225Edit

This race was held June 15 at Pikes Peak International Raceway. Tony Kanaan won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 9- Scott Dixon
  2. 11- Tony Kanaan
  3. 6- Gil de Ferran
  4. 27- Dario Franchitti
  5. 4- Sam Hornish Jr.
  6. 12- Tora Takagi
  7. 15- Kenny Bräck
  8. 10- Tomas Scheckter
  9. 52- Buddy Rice
  10. 91- Buddy Lazier

SunTrust Indy ChallengeEdit

This race was held June 28 at Richmond International Raceway. Scott Dixon won the pole. The Race originally scheduled for 250 laps, but shortened to 206 laps due to rain.

Top ten results

  1. 9- Scott Dixon
  2. 3- Hélio Castroneves
  3. 6- Gil de Ferran
  4. 4- Sam Hornish Jr.
  5. 11- Tony Kanaan
  6. 21- Felipe Giaffone
  7. 15- Kenny Bräck
  8. 26- Dan Wheldon
  9. 52- Buddy Rice
  10. 31- Al Unser Jr.

Kansas Indy 300Edit

This race was held July 6 at Kansas Speedway. Scott Dixon won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 27- Bryan Herta
  2. 3- Hélio Castroneves
  3. 6- Gil de Ferran
  4. 11- Tony Kanaan
  5. 15- Kenny Bräck
  6. 9- Scott Dixon
  7. 55- Roger Yasukawa
  8. 13- Greg Ray
  9. 10- Tomas Scheckter
  10. 5- Jaques Lazier

Firestone Indy 200Edit

This race was held July 19 at Nashville Superspeedway. Scott Dixon won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 6- Gil de Ferran
  2. 9- Scott Dixon
  3. 3- Hélio Castroneves
  4. 26- Dan Wheldon
  5. 21- Alex Barron
  6. 15- Kenny Bräck
  7. 12- Tora Takagi
  8. 31- Al Unser Jr.
  9. 11- Tony Kanaan
  10. 10- Tomas Scheckter

Firestone Indy 400Edit

This race was held July 27 at Michigan International Speedway. Tomas Scheckter won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 21- Alex Barron
  2. 4- Sam Hornish Jr.
  3. 10- Tomas Scheckter
  4. 8- Scott Sharp
  5. 9- Scott Dixon
  6. 12- Tora Takagi
  7. 6- Gil de Ferran
  8. 12- Roger Yasukawa
  9. 31- Al Unser Jr.
  10. 13- Greg Ray

Emerson Indy 250Edit

This race was held August 10 at Gateway International Raceway. Hélio Castroneves won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 3- Hélio Castroneves
  2. 11- Tony Kanaan
  3. 6- Gil de Ferran
  4. 10- Tomas Scheckter
  5. 26- Dan Wheldon
  6. 4- Sam Hornish Jr.
  7. 12- Tora Takagi
  8. 13- Greg Ray
  9. 2- Vítor Meira
  10. 8- Scott Sharp

Belterra Casino Indy 300Edit

This race was held August 17 at Kentucky Speedway. Sam Hornish Jr. won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 4- Sam Hornish Jr.
  2. 9- Scott Dixon
  3. 27- Bryan Herta
  4. 31- Al Unser Jr.
  5. 3- Hélio Castroneves
  6. 11- Tony Kanaan
  7. 24- Robbie Buhl
  8. 26- Dan Wheldon
  9. 6- Gil de Ferran
  10. 10- Tomas Scheckter

Firestone Indy 225Edit

This race was held August 24 at Nazareth Speedway. Scott Dixon won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 3- Hélio Castroneves
  2. 4- Sam Hornish Jr.
  3. 27- Bryan Herta
  4. 6- Gil de Ferran
  5. 15- Kenny Bräck
  6. 31- Al Unser Jr.
  7. 26- Dan Wheldon
  8. 12- Roger Yasukawa
  9. 24- Robbie Buhl
  10. 91- Buddy Rice

Delphi Indy 300Edit

This race was held September 7 at Chicagoland Speedway. Richie Hearn won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 4- Sam Hornish Jr.
  2. 9- Scott Dixon
  3. 27- Bryan Herta
  4. 26- Dan Wheldon
  5. 10- Tomas Scheckter
  6. 11- Tony Kanaan
  7. 52- Alex Barron
  8. 55- Roger Yasukawa
  9. 12- Tora Takagi
  10. 24- Robbie Buhl

Toyota Indy 400Edit

This race was held September 21 at California Speedway. Hélio Castroneves won the pole. It was the fastest circuit race ever in motorsport history, with an average speed of 207.151 mph (333.306 km/h) over 400 miles (643.6 km). This also makes it the de facto fastest ever 400 mile motor race beating the NASCAR record set during the 1999 Kmart 400.

Top ten results

  1. 4- Sam Hornish Jr.
  2. 9- Scott Dixon
  3. 11- Tony Kanaan
  4. 26- Dan Wheldon
  5. 10- Tomas Scheckter
  6. 3- Hélio Castroneves
  7. 55- Roger Yasukawa
  8. 8- Scott Sharp
  9. 31- Al Unser Jr.
  10. 52- Alex Barron

Chevy 500Edit

This race was held October 12 at Texas Motor Speedway. Gil de Ferran won the pole. The race was memorable for a five–way championship duel involving de Ferran, Scott Dixon, Hélio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan, and two-time titlist Sam Hornish Jr.. The race was also notable for a frightening, but non–fatal, accident involving Tomas Scheckter and 1999 Indianapolis 500 champion Kenny Bräck. Scheckter was uninjured, but the Swede was launched into the air after wheel–to–wheel contact on the backstretch and violently clobbered the catch fencing. Debris was scattered across the track, and the already long period of yellow flag laps prompted IRL race control to end the race at lap 195 of 200. Because the race reached 1 lap past the halfway point the race was considered official. Gil de Ferran, Bräck's former title rival in CART, won in his final IndyCar race, joining Ray Harroun and Sam Hanks (both of whom retired immediately after winning an Indianapolis 500) as drivers who retired from U.S. open wheel competition in the winner's circle. Scott Dixon won the IRL title in his first season in the IndyCar Series (having spent two seasons in CART) and Englishman Dan Wheldon beat Roger Yasukawa for Bombardier Rookie of the Year honors.

Top ten results

  1. 6- Gil de Ferran
  2. 9- Scott Dixon
  3. 7- Dan Wheldon
  4. 2- Vítor Meira
  5. 27- Bryan Herta
  6. 8- Scott Sharp
  7. 12- Tora Takagi
  8. 13- Greg Ray
  9. 31- Al Unser Jr.
  10. 55- Roger Yasukawa

Final driver standingsEdit

Pos Driver HMS PHX MOT INDY TXS PIK RIR KAN NSH MIS GAT KTY NAZ CHI FON TXS Pts
1   Scott Dixon 1 20 15 17 6 1* 1* 6 2 5 15 2 16 2 2 2 507
2   Gil de Ferran 2* 14 1 8 3 3 3* 1 7 3 9 4 12 15 1* 489
3   Hélio Castroneves 3 2 22 2 7 12 2 2 3 17 1* 5 1* 20 6 13 484
4   Tony Kanaan 4 1* 14* 3 2 2 5 4 9* 16 2 6 18 6 3 14 476
5   Sam Hornish Jr. 10 21 6 15 10 5 4 17 11 2* 6 1* 2 1 1 17 461
6   Al Unser Jr. 13 4 5 9 1 14 10 14 8 9 20 4 6 19 9 9 374
7   Tomas Scheckter 8 15 16 4* 18* 8 18 9 10 3 4 10 19 5* 5* 15 356
8   Scott Sharp 5 7 1 20 16 11 17 16 13 4 10 13 12 11 8 6 351
9   Kenny Bräck 11 5 2 16 4 7 7 5 6 18 19 19 5 21 20 16 342
10   Tora Takagi 12 22 8 5 31 6 13 18 7 6 7 18 14 9 18 7 317
11   Dan Wheldon  RY  7 19 20 19 8 21 4 20 5 8 7 4 4 3 312
12   Roger Yasukawa  R  14 17 21 10 9 17 11 7 15 8 18 12 8 8 7 10 301
13   Bryan Herta DNQ 5 14 1 12 19 21 3 3 3 22 5 277
14   Robbie Buhl 19 12 10 23 22 15 15 12 21 13 12 7 9 10 12 11 261
15   Greg Ray 9 8 11 18 12 8 16 10 8 15 17 DNS 14 8 253
16   Buddy Rice 16 9 13 11 14 9 9 19 18 11 14 11 10 229
17   Alex Barron 17 6 5 1 16 20 15 7 10 20 216
18   Sarah Fisher 15 8 23 31 15 20 19 11 20 15 13 14 DNS 18 19 12 211
19   Buddy Lazier 11 19 21 13 10 20 13 14 12 11 16 13 16 201
20   Felipe Giaffone 9 3 3 33 17 13 6 22 15 16 19 199
21   A. J. Foyt IV  R  17 18 18 18 21 22 21 15 17 14 17 17 11 17 17 22 198
22   Vítor Meira 12 12 16 22 20 19 21 9 DNS 11 4 170
23   Jaques Lazier 20 6 12 29 19 21 16 10 DNS 120
24   Michael Andretti 6 13 4 27 80
25   Dario Franchitti 7 16 4 72
26   Shigeaki Hattori 18 10 20 30 43
27   Ed Carpenter  R  13 13 21 43
28   Richie Hearn 28 14 21 18 39
29   Shinji Nakano 11 14 35
30   Tony Renna 7 26
31   Scott Mayer  R  21 19 24 DNQ 26
32   Jimmy Kite 13 17
33   Robby Gordon 22 8
34   Airton Daré 24 DNQ 6
35   Robby McGehee 25 5
36   Jimmy Vasser 26 4
37   Billy Boat 32 1
-   Arie Luyendyk DNQ 0
Pos Driver HMS PHX MOT INDY TXS PIK RIR KAN NSH MIS GAT KTY NAZ CHI FON TXS Pts
Color Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green 4th & 5th place
Light Blue 6th–10th place
Dark Blue Finished
(Outside Top 10)
Purple Did not finish
(Ret)
Red Did not qualify
(DNQ)
Brown Withdrawn
(Wth)
Black Disqualified
(DSQ)
White Did not start
(DNS)
Blank Did not
participate
(DNP)
Not competing
In-line notation
Bold Pole position
Italics Ran fastest race lap
* Led most race laps
(2 points)
DNS Any driver who qualifies
but does not start (DNS),
earns all the points
had they taken part.
 RY  Rookie of the Year
 R  Rookie
  • Ties in points broken by number of wins, followed by number of 2nds, 3rds, etc., and then by number of pole positions, followed by number of times qualified 2nd, etc.

Note: 1 Tora Takagi had 23 points deducted at Texas Motor Speedway due to unacceptable driving.

See alsoEdit

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ Used by Daré, by Hattori at Homestead and Motegi, and by Foyt IV in seven rounds: Motegi, Texas 1 and 2, Kansas, Michigan, Kentucky and Fontana.
  2. ^ Replaced Airton Daré, who was injured during a practice crash at Texas
  3. ^ Replaced Arie Luyendyk, who was injured during a practice crash.
  4. ^ Failed his rookie test at Indianapolis.

External linksEdit