IndyCar has wasted no time responding to the debris problems caused by broken aero components at the opening round in St Petersburg.
The 110-lap contest saw caution flags for “rabbit ears” - as Will Power calls them - and other debris from flying aero kit pieces from both Chevrolet and Honda.
The most damage was caused by a standard Dallara item, the wheel guards that are intended to stop cars from flying over one another. At Turn 10, a wheel guard flew off the #98 entry of rookie Gabby Chavez and struck a fan, who was hospitalised for head injuries.
In reaction to not only that, but many other incidents at the Florida street circuit, IndyCar has announced it has mandated structural upgrades to strengthen the Chevrolet and Honda aero kits.
These modifications include the addition of components that will improve the overall strength of the added bodywork for both manufacturers, the series said.
The components have been redesigned by each manufacturer and approved by IndyCar for implementation throughout the balance of the season, beginning with this weekend’s inaugural race at NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, LA outside New Orleans.
IndyCar said these structural upgrades will attempt to minimise the amount of damage to bodywork components in car-to-car contact, thereby benefiting teams, manufacturers and IndyCar fans.
“We applaud both Honda and Chevrolet for their efforts to implement these changes. With a quick turnaround from St Petersburg, our partners were very diligent in making these enhancements in time for this weekend’s event,” said Derrick Walker, president of competition and operations for IndyCar.
“We will continue this collaboration and expect additional improvements in the future.”
Walker confirmed the series “will always be proactive to implement changes that benefit our fans. These upgrades are a good first step that will make immediate improvements to the race this weekend at NOLA Motorsports Park.”