IndyCar has seen almost 1,000 on-track passes after four races of the 2018 season, a 110 percent increase on last year, according to figures released by the series.
One of the new aerokit’s primary goals was to improve racing by increasing the downforce generated by the underside of the Dallara IR12 chassis, and reducing the number of aerodynamic appendages on top surfaces to allow cars to run closer.
IndyCar has since raced on two street courses, one short oval and one road course, and after the last round at Barber Motorsports Park, the series claims it has seen 999 passes for position on the track – although IndyCar includes first lap moves and cars being lapped and unlapped.
Number of passes from the first four IndyCar races of 2017 totaled 475.
When reigning IndyCar champion and current points leader Josef Newgarden was asked if the new car had ticked the boxes it needed to, he said: “I think so.
“I think the last test is Indianapolis and that’s our biggest event and our event we want to get the best at. But you know the car has performed well everywhere.
“Phoenix, which has historically been a tough race for us [IndyCar], it’s been difficult for passing, the track layout itself lately with these cars just has not been conducive to a lot of passing in the race and I think we had a much-improved show.
“Yeah it wasn’t perfect and maybe it can be better, but the show was much better. I think the difficulty with [driving] the car really added to having to work for it around that track and you had to drive the car a lot more than in recent years.
“On the street courses, I think everyone has been raving about St Pete and Long Beach as great races. And then Barber, it seems to be very similar to street courses and hopefully, we can continue that through the year.”
The new 2018 car has also proven to be more punishing of driver errors, and Newgarden argues it is a good thing for the series.
“More people making mistakes is a good thing, it shows the difficulty of the car,” he said. “It’s the first year with it and we’re still trying to figure out how to make it work.
“It moves a lot more than what we’ve been used to in the last three years [with manufacturer aerokits].
“It just makes everyone a little bit more critical of their inputs and really understand what they’re doing on the track.”