Mark Miles, CEO of IndyCar’s parent organization Hulman & Co., believes the addition of four new teams to the series in 2018 proves its growth.
Carlin has committed two full-season entries to 2018 to be driven by Charlie Kimball and Max Chilton, Harding Racing will run Gabby Chaves full-time, while Juncos Racing and Michael Shank Racing have added part-time entries in the upcoming season.
Speaking at the NAIAS auto show in Detroit as IndyCar officially launched the 2018 car package, Miles said the new teams’ arrival validates IndyCar's direction.
“A sign of growth and I think the vitality of the series, is that we are welcoming four new team owners into the series this year, and these are not folks that are unfamiliar with us,” said Miles.
“They've been involved in racing. They've been involved in Indy Lights, and they're going to add great competitive dynamics to our racing.”
Miles also said that their additions bolster chassis builder and series partner Dallara, as well as IndyCar’s engine manufacturers.
“Part of that is that they've [the teams] ordered between them about 12 new engines. Dallara are feeling the effects of this new investment.”
The new car has earned positive feedback from teams and drivers in testing, with widespread support for the concept of reducing the effect of aero wash by switching the majority of downforce-generating devices to the underside of the car.
For these, and aesthetical reasons, Miles says the new package will help the series grow over the next few seasons.
“I feel guilty standing between you and it because we think it's gorgeous,” he said. “We think it has really excited our fan base. This may be the public premiere, but there's been a lot of talk, and we're having trouble finding a critic.
“We believe that the changes that have been made will provide for great racing, more close racing, more passing, more exciting racing.
“So we expect that to be great news for the ongoing growth of the series, and we're looking forward to seeing this beautiful car in action.”