Announced just last week in Detroit came some really very interesting news on the future of Indy car as we see it.
The series is working towards a universal aerodynamic bodywork kit for all Verizon IndyCar Series cars in 2018, the development process is well under way.
Jay Frye, INDYCAR president of competition and operations, unveiled a series of initial concept drawings for how the car might look during a media roundtable at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).
Without revealing specific details to how the cars and their accompanying aerodynamic bodywork will look when they hit the track for the 2018 season, Frye offered the first visual peek into the future at INDYCAR's NAIAS exhibit in the Motor City.
The drawings were completed months ago, but they give the first concept designs that will cover the Dallara IR-12 chassis. The images revealed will not be what the cars wind up looking like in 2018, but they provided the first public direction of the process.The series will share more details of the development process in coming weeks, including another public update following the 2017 preseason's open test Feb. 10-11 at Phoenix International Raceway. The goal is to have a car built for display at the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil in May, with on-track testing in the summer.
INDYCAR previously announced a development freeze for the upcoming season, which means teams will use the aero kits offered by Chevrolet and Honda for the 17 races. The season opens two months from today, March 12, with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Then on the back of this news came even more good things for the series in the first step in revealing the series next equipment generation comes in the form of signing Dallara, the sport's longtime chassis manufacturer, to a contract extension, officials announced at the North American International Auto Show.
The multiyear agreement calls for Dallara, an Italian company with a U.S. base in Speedway, Indiana, to continue providing driver safety cells to the Verizon IndyCar Series through the 2020 season. The 2017 season marks Dallara's 20th anniversary in U.S.-based open-wheel racing.
"Dallara's continued participation in our sport provides INDYCAR and our competitors a tremendous amount of confidence," said Jay Frye, INDYCAR president, competition and operations. "Dallara has been an instrumental partner in the Verizon IndyCar Series for 20 years and we are excited to extend our relationship with them."
There series will soon unveil plans for new bodywork giving the Dallara IR-12 chassis a fresh appearance for the 2018 season. Also, teams will be given more flexibility and control over parts for their cars.
"The signature of this contract is a natural extension of an intensive working relationship that has been continuing since 1997," said Giampaolo Dallara, founder and president of Dallara Automobili. "We are pleased to continue to contribute to the great success that this series deserves."
Founded in 1972 near Parma, Italy, Dallara has an enviable record of success around the world, designing and manufacturing cars for a range of different motorsports series and formulas. Dallara began its INDYCAR affiliation in 1997.
"We are all working together for a common goal and this is the reason why the possibility to work more closely with the teams excites us," said Andrea Pontremoli, CEO and general manager of Dallara Automobili. "We want to contribute concretely to their success and to that of the series."
So you want to know more about Indy Car and the series well INDYCAR is the governing body of the Verizon IndyCar Series, the premier open-wheel racing series in North America, and the Mazda Road to Indy development ladder, which includes: Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires, the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda. INDYCAR events are available to a worldwide audience through a variety of multimedia platforms, highlighted by long-term and broad-reaching partnerships with ABC and NBCSN for not only domestic US television and Media coverage but also global coverage of the series. INDYCAR is continually at the forefront of motorsports innovation with drivers, teams and tracks benefiting from safety and technological improvements such as the SAFER Barrier, SWEMS wheel and chassis component tethers, chassis enhancements, advanced aerodynamic bodywork kits, high-definition in-car cameras and E85 ethanol fuel.
Quotes provided via IndyCar Media Services.
Don't forget to check out my books still on line at Amazon.com , Travel Tips to the Indy 500 and my thoughts on Indy and the race in The Mystique of Indy The Brickyard. Hope you enjoy them.