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IndyCar’s aero kits planned for 2015 debut as part of innovation timeline

Jun 2, 2013, 11:44 AM EDT

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Call it, “aero kits, take three.” The long-discussed, planned implementation of aerodynamic adjustments to the Dallara DW12 IndyCar begins for the rest of this year, as part of a 10-year gradual process of innovation. IndyCar series officials, including Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles and IndyCar’s new president of competition and operations, Derrick Walker, announced preliminary details of a return to innovation ahead of the Indianapolis 500.

With partner approval, IndyCar will introduce various aerodynamic configurations in 2015. Prior to actual body adjustments, the series will work with chassis provider Dallara to look to reduce the potential for lift on the car. That process begins immediately.

The timeline of getting manufacturers and teams confirmed will occur over the next two-three weeks, with participation set to be announced in July.

Essentially, how it breaks down is that the base DW12 chassis will be the model at least through 2018, with a completely new car look evident by 2019 if not sooner. The combination of aero adjustments plus horsepower increases by the manufacturers, when approved by all partners, will determine the evolution cycle between now and 2021, the end of this cycle.

Right now, it appears current manufacturers (Dallara, Chevrolet, Honda, Firestone) will be involved in the process, with the engine manufacturers the ones committing to aero kit designs. Plans for a revival of Indianapolis’ “cottage industry”  are remote at best, for the moment.

Stay tuned to MotorSportsTalk next week for more information on aero kits, their timeline, and their planned implementation. In the meantime, here are the initiatives outlined as part of IndyCar’s long-term strategy:

  • 2013 – IndyCar and Dallara look to reduce the surface area of the underbody of the current chassis to reduce the potential for lift in preparation for the addition of various aerodynamic configuaritions in 2015.
  • 2014 – Engine upgrades as part of the current homologation process; downforce adjustments to enhance racing, overtaking as well as safety at various racetrack configurations, as needed.
  • 2015 – Aero configuration components introduced for the full IZOD IndyCar Series season in conjunction with potential enhancements to the underbody.
  • 2016 – Opportunity for tire development, if needed, with Firestone, as well as engine power enhancements as required. As this year is the 100th Indianapolis 500, a new qualifying record of 237.000 mph is the goal.
  • 2017 – Possible aero configuration kits and engine upgrades. Potential for areas on car to be opened for team development.
  • 2018 – Competition enhancements made based on performance of 2017 package.
  • 2019 – Potential introduction of new body style and engine formula.
  • 2020 – Competition enhancements made based on performance of 2019 package.
  • 2021 – Possible aero configuration upgrade.
  1. indycarseries500 - Jun 2, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    Take a look at Conor’s accident again. He hit hard with the right side and because the fixes they put in place to prevent the car rolling on its side during a left side impact it collapsed and when the force of the impact spun him around air was blowing over a perfect left side of the car and there was nothing on the right side to hold the car up, the mirror tipped the car back upright. When talking about underbody aerodynamics AJ Allmendinger yesterday or Marco Andretti at Long Beach last year are the examples you want to use.

    • Tony DiZinno - Jun 2, 2013 at 12:43 PM

      You may be right there man. Might have got the two confused off the top of my head.

    • midtec2005 - Jun 2, 2013 at 2:00 PM

      The Conor Daly crash was different, as you say. But I feel like something could still be done about that. If the underwing would create some downforce while moving sideways then that would probably have been prevented also. I’d like to see it create a little less downforce overall also. I don’t know this for certain, but it seems like having an underwing does help keep the cars on the ground a lot better than a flat bottom. The old car got airborne if you sneezed at it wrong.

      • indycarseries500 - Jun 3, 2013 at 4:27 PM

        Don’t think it’d stop what happened to Conor but it couldn’t hurt.

        The new car has done very well in that aspect, when it has gotten airborne (as anything that goes fast would) it hasn’t taken off like the old car or Ralf Schumacher’s 2002 Williams.

        If they’re going to want to run that fast they’re definitely going to have to sculpt that underwing a lot more and put the floor on a diet so I can support delaying the aerokits another year. With increased underbody aero I’m with you and would love to see the wings cut down 50-60% in size.

  2. ttnvrl8 - Jun 2, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Nice to see Indycar have a long term plan. I think they really need to get the aero kits available this time though, hopefully allowing for more diversity of approaches on the cars. Especially if they’re committed to keeping the same basic chassis for another 6 years. With some luck, this could be a reasonable, but not too boring, approach to controlling long term costs of the sport.

  3. wallio - Jun 2, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    So first it was aero kits in early 2012, then after Indy 2012, then this year, then next year, now 2014? So Randy was right, there never will be aero kits…..

  4. purplesectornet - Jun 6, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    2015? Unbelievable…here we go again same old same old…IndyCar is toast…

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