IRL: 1997 chassis rules and suppliers announced

For Immediate Release Fact Sheets, Car Graphic Attached IRL ANNOUNCES NEW CHASSIS RULES, CAR CONSTRUCTORS INDIANAPOLIS, April 2, 1996 -- The Indy Racing League today announced new chassis specifications for competition beginning in 1997...

For Immediate Release Fact Sheets, Car Graphic Attached

IRL ANNOUNCES NEW CHASSIS RULES, CAR CONSTRUCTORS

INDIANAPOLIS, April 2, 1996 -- The Indy Racing League today announced new chassis specifications for competition beginning in 1997 and also announced three car constructors who have committed to manufacture the new Indy racing vehicle.

Dallara, of Italy, and G Force, of Great Britain, will build the 1997 IRL race car in time for testing later this year. Their cars will begin competing in the Indy 200 at Walt Disney World on Jan. 25, 1997. Riley & Scott of Indianapolis will begin an IRL constructor program as of June 1, 1997. All IRL racers must conform to the new specifications beginning in 1997 and the formula will remain in effect at least through 1999.

The new IRL chassis improves the state of the art of current Indianapolis racing design and construction yet remains a close, next-generation cousin to existing Indy race cars. Significant changes were made to accommodate the IRL's new and bigger normally-aspirated 4.0 liter V8 engine. Cost containment also played a key role in design criteria.

Still a ground effects, carbon fiber/composite monocoque design with the engine serving as an integral component of the chassis, the new IRL race car is easily recognized by the air induction tunnel, or "airbox", above and behind the driver's head. The airbox, which forces air into the engine compartment, incorporates the existing roll hoop dimensions. Although this radically changes the appearance of the engine cover, the new IRL race car retains virtually all of the existing Indianapolis-type overall dimensions.

With a targeted $250,000 chassis price tag (complete except for engine), specifications included: 1) the gearbox and fuel tanks for all chassis will be standardized; 2) no aerodynamic appendages (e.g. vortex generators) are allowed to the underbody or outboard wings; and 3) sales to competitors will be factory direct. The basic manufacturer's chassis will be $220,000, and the specified parts (gearbox, fuel tank) take the total to $263,000.

Jack Long, executive director of the IRL, commented, "This will be a structurally superior, highly competitive race car at about half the cost of current equipment. We have eliminated some huge costs associated with gearbox and aerodynamic development, and we've also eliminated the middle step of the distribution process. That's where the savings are."

Safety will be enhanced as a result of a wider monocoque (driver's compartment), which will be three inches wider and allow more padding and anti-protrusion armor to protect the driver and provide better cockpit ergonomics. A deformable composite honeycomb and carbon fiber "collar" around the gearbox will serve as a rear impact attenuator.

The announcement was made by Long in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum and included several principals, including IRL founder and IMS president Tony George, USAC technical director Mike Devin; consulting engineer Ken Anderson; Dallara (duh-LAHR-uh) owner Gian Paolo Dallara; G Force director John Biddlecombe; Riley & Scott co-owner Mark Scott; Oldsmobile program manager Ed Keating representing the Aurora V8 IRL powerplant and Nissan's design engineer on the IRL project Trevor Harris representing the Infiniti Indy engine.

...IRL96-07... Contact: Bob Walters/Amy Riley, IRL-IMS Public Relations, 317/484-6780

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