INDYCAR DELAYS INTRODUCTION OF AERO KITS UNTIL 2013
LOUDON, NH (Aug. 14, 2011) - INDYCAR announced today that it will delay the introduction of alternative aero kits for its new IZOD IndyCar Series chassis until 2013. The next-generation chassis remains on target to debut in competition at the start of the 2012 season.
"The most important thing we can do as a series is look at what is in the best interest of both our long and short term," said Randy Bernard, CEO of INDYCAR. "It is important that we maintain a high car count next year by ensuring we have cost containment for our teams. We must listen to our team owners and try to help. I'm the biggest advocate of the aero kit and I feel this is by far the best decision for our series. The 2012 season will be exciting with the debut of our new car as we focus on relevancy and technology with engine competition, turbochargers and direct injection among other things."
Reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon was behind the wheel of the initial test of the new chassis Aug. 8-9 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
"We are extremely pleased with the results of our first test of the new chassis," said Will Phillips, vice president of technology, INDYCAR. "Everything performed as we expected in this initial shakedown. All systems were sorted and checked, and we look forward to our next test."
INDYCAR announced plans for the car - a rolling chassis dubbed the IndyCar Safety Cell that comes complete except for tires, the steering wheel and driver seat and with different body coverings for ovals and road/street courses known as aero kits - in July 2010 after it reviewed multiple manufacturer concepts. The cars will be powered by 2.2-liter turbocharged V-6 engines produced by Chevrolet, Honda and Lotus.
It will replace the chassis that came on line in 2003 and was built for oval racing (the first INDYCAR road/street course race was in 2005 at St. Petersburg, Fla.).
Engine manufacturers -- each of whom has ordered a next-generation chassis -- will commence testing in early October with their respective aligned teams. So far, Chip Ganassi Racing, A.J. Foyt Racing and Sam Schmidt Motorsports have signed on with Honda. Team Penske is the anchor team for Chevrolet.