The wicker may have been partially responsible for the flight of Helio Castroneves.
INDIANAPOLIS - Before Thursday practice began at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 99th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, race No. 6 in the Verizon IndyCar Series season and arguably the most important of the bunch, Chevrolet teams were told to remove the center wicker bill that runs the length of each car’s nose.
After some computational fluid dynamics (CFD) studies, Chevrolet felt the wicker might have been a partial contributor to Helio Castroneves’ flight on Wednesday afternoon that left his car unable to perform but, thankfully, not its driver, who drove a backup later in the day and placing 15th with only 12 laps in the books.
As team co-owner Dennis Reinbold (No. 24 Chevrolet driven by Townsend Bell) explained to me, when the car initially got sideways the wicker might have caused the No. 3 to lift at the rear, thereby causing Castroneves to get airborne. According to Chris Berube, Chevrolet motorsports manager, the manufacturer asked the teams to remove it just to make ascertain - in the real world - that this won’t happen again?
Berube said they wanted to get the cars back to as-homologated status. Honda teams have not been advised to follow suit at this time.