CHAMPCAR/CART: Handford MkII works well at Milwaukee

Friday's first practice sessions speeds are a bit faster than last year's opening performances, despite a new wing (aerodynamic) package on the 2000 cars. The cornerpiece of the aero package is the Handford MkII Device, which has high- and ...

Friday's first practice sessions speeds are a bit faster than last year's opening performances, despite a new wing (aerodynamic) package on the 2000 cars. The cornerpiece of the aero package is the Handford MkII Device, which has high- and low-downforce versions. The MkII will be instituted for races at all small and intermediate ovals and one permanent road course, Road America. The Handford MkII replaces the nine-by-seven-inch rear wing that was originally approved in March for the 2000 season as well as the 12-by-1.5-inch "superspeedway wing" utilized in short-oval competition during the 1999 FedEx Championship Series season and previously used on superspeedways. "As of this date, testing of the Handford MkII Device provides an increased level of downforce and drag that has been identified as necessary to produce more competitive racing on CART's short and mid-size ovals," said J. Kirk Russell, CART vice president of competition.

The benefits of the new Handford MkII should be threefold. The device, designed by Mark Handford, former vice president of engineering and technical director at Swift Engineering, is expected to create enough additional drag to reduce the need to downshift on the ovals, thereby reducing the potential for accidents. It should also improve the cars' overtaking ability on the short and intermediate ovals. On the financial side, the utilization of a "spec" wing is expected to reduce development costs and wing inventories for Champ Car teams.

The high-downforce version will be utilized at five venues: Nazareth (Pa.) Speedway, Nelson Piquet International Raceway in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, The Milwaukee (Wis.) Mile, Chicago (Ill.) Motor Speedway and Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.

In wind tunnel testing, the high-downforce version of the Handford MkII generated 700 more pounds of downforce and 260 more pounds of drag than the 12-by-1.5 inch superspeedway wing.

The low-downforce variant will be used at three intermediate oval venues: the Miami-Dade Homestead (Fla.) Motorsports Complex, Twin Ring Motegi in Motegi, Japan, and Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill. Testing revealed that the low-downforce variant of the Handford MkII created 150 fewer pounds of downforce and 145 more pounds of drag than the superspeedway wing.

This past season, Nazareth, Milwaukee, Chicago, Homestead, Motegi and Gateway used the superspeedway package while Brazil and Road America used the road course wing configuration.

Handford designed the Handford MkII as a single-element, "spec"-profile rear wing. The initial device was built by Penske Cars Ltd. in both configurations and tested in mid-August at the wind tunnel facility of Southampton University in Southampton, England. It is the second wing designed by Handford for Champ Car competition. He also is the designer of the Handford Device - the key component of CART's aerodynamic package on superspeedways that was instituted in 1998.

-CART-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Nelson Piquet