Bourdais says IndyCar "hurt" by old aerokit

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Bourdais says IndyCar "hurt" by old aerokit
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Oct 4, 2017, 10:21 AM

Four-time CART champion and Dale Coyne Racing driver Sebastien Bourdais says that the outgoing manufacturer aerokit era "hurt" IndyCar's standing.

Sébastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing Honda
Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport with Yarrow Honda
Jack Harvey, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
Conor Daly, A.J. Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet
Sébastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing Honda
Sébastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing Honda
Sébastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing Honda
Helio Castroneves, Team Penske Chevrolet

IndyCar opened up the Dallara DW12 aerokit to manufacturers in 2015 and it caused a steep increase in costs. It also caused a split field as Honda struggled to adapt to the changes early on.

Chevrolet continued to dominate through 2016-17 and team owners and drivers who were initially against the manufacturer aerokit era became more critical.

Bourdais says that although opening up the aerokit rules was the right decision at the time, it has damaged IndyCar.

"I think the general idea of the aero kit and manufacturers pushing and everything was a really good concept, but it turned out that we hurt the racing a little bit," he said.

"And so we hurt the product, which is never a good thing because it was tougher to follow and it was tougher to pass."

Bourdais says that a return to the original concept of the DW12 as a spec chassis, which it ran as between 2012-15, can only help IndyCar improve its racing.

"I think if we can go back towards more of a philosophy of the DW12 where the thing worked really well, we had awesome races and it was somewhat possible to come back from not such a good qualifying and not be stuck in traffic.

"I think first and foremost when you have a spec series you need to put on a good show for the fans to enjoy and for the drivers to have fun and for the race to be dynamic, so hopefully it achieves that.

"It seems like in the early running the guys have been quite in agreement that the car does follow a lot easier, so that should raise the possibilities of passing, which is what it needs to be."

Aerokit shake-up means 'no excuses'

Bourdais says that the new aerokit will give a clearer picture as to which teams are performing, and that there will be no excuses for teams who fall back.

The Dale Coyne Racing driver won the 2017 season-opener at St Petersburg but felt a Penske four-car lockout of the fast six prevented any team from competing regularly.

Penske won 10 of 17 races this year, with Josef Newgarden becoming champion.

"You are going up against almost a given Penske in the top six with four cars, so it doesn't leave you with much room," said Bourdais.

"Things are going to be shaken up a bit next year because we're all going to have the same aero kit, so it's going to be easier to see who has got what and where we stand and there certainly won't be any excuses of 'we don't have this, we don't have the right aero kit'.

"We'll have a clearer picture of what's really happening next year."

Additional reporting by James Newbold 

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About this article

Series IndyCar
Drivers Sébastien Bourdais
Teams Dale Coyne Racing
Author Tom Errington
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