After its tumultuous winter of 2011, the IndyCar Series reinvented itself for this year amid a cacophony of bangs and whimpers double-tracked with the growl of turbochargers.
Such was the scale of change that the new engine formula - normally-aspirated V8s giving way to V6 turbos - went mostly unremarked. Competition from other new developments, such as the return of engine manufacturers, the introduction of a new chassis for the first time in a decade, and an organisational overhaul proved too strong in the fight for column inches.
The 2012 IndyCar season will be remembered for all of those, but above all else it will be the quality of the racing that ultimately defined the year. Perhaps the only point upon which the famously divided paddock would agree was that it was the most competitive season of US single-seater racing in recent memory but, more than that, it was probably the most competitive professional racing series on the planet this year.
The field was deep in talent and, with very few exceptions, the technical package delivered outstanding racing across road courses, street circuits and ovals.
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