IRL: Dallara chassis earns Schwitzer award

Dallara chassis earns BorgWarner Louis Schwitzer INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, May 16, 2003 -- The 37th BorgWarner Louis Schwitzer Award was presented to Indy Racing League chassis manufacturer Dallara for its IR3 chassis used in the IRL IndyCar Series,...

Dallara chassis earns BorgWarner Louis Schwitzer

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, May 16, 2003 -- The 37th BorgWarner Louis Schwitzer Award was presented to Indy Racing League chassis manufacturer Dallara for its IR3 chassis used in the IRL IndyCar Series, officials announced May 16 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Andrea Toso, head of research and development for Dallara, accepted the award on behalf of company president Gian Paolo Dallara. It's the second time Dallara has received the prestigious award, as it also was presented it in 1999 for its IndyCar Series chassis.

Award recipients receive $5,000, a plaque and a framed poster from BorgWarner, and their names will be added to the permanent trophy in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum.

"It's an honor," Toso said. "The IRL is the most important project for Dallara. Dallara is highly grateful to the Indy Racing League to design chassis for the series."

The IR3 chassis was a significant risk for Dallara, based in Italy. The Indy Racing League introduced a new, three-year cycle of chassis and engines in 2003. When Dallara designers and engineers started their design for this new generation of IndyCar Series car in February 2002, they decided to use a revolutionary pull-rod front suspension instead of the conventional push-rod system.

Repeated wind-tunnel and computer testing showed that the pull-rod suspension provided better aerodynamics, lower drag and a lower center of gravity for the chassis because the pull-rod suspension allowed the car to have a dramatically lower front end, Toso said. Thirty percent of the car's overall aerodynamic improvement came from the lowered front end due to the pull-rod system, Toso said.

"Everybody knows that the pull-rod concept is not new to motor racing," Toso said. "But in motor racing, you have to consider all possible solutions and pick the best. At the end, we believe the pull-rod concept is a better solution than the push-rod concept."

The Louis Schwitzer Award, named after the dynamic automotive pioneer, has been presently annually in conjunction with the Indianapolis 500 since 1967. It recognizes individuals with the courage and conviction to explore and develop new concepts in auto racing technology.

The award is presented by the Indiana Section of Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Past award recipients include Colin Chapman, Bruce McLaren, Dan Gurney, A.J. Foyt, and Mario Illien. Last year's award was presented to the team of University of Nebraska-Lincoln engineers that developed the SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) Barrier.

BorgWarner Inc. (NYSE: BWA) is a product leader in highly engineered components and systems for vehicle powertrain applications worldwide. The company operates manufacturing and technical facilities in 43 locations in 14 countries.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dan Gurney , A.J. Foyt , Colin Chapman