IRL press conference on 2012 new chassis, part 2

Continued from part 1 TONY COTMAN: Thanks, Brian. Our goal was to maintain the IZOD IndyCar Series position as the fastest and most versatile racing series in the world. We feel the strategy is the most effective way to achieve...

Continued from part 1

TONY COTMAN: Thanks, Brian. Our goal was to maintain the IZOD IndyCar Series position as the fastest and most versatile racing series in the world. We feel the strategy is the most effective way to achieve different looking cars while maintaining close racing that has become the hallmark of the sport.

We also wanted to maintain our position as the leader in motorsports safety. The core of the new car will be the IndyCar Safety Cell, with improved visibility, head, leg and back protection, advanced padding and more.

Another unique concept to improve our close racing is the wheel interlock prevention system. The system will let cars run side by side while limiting the chance for locking wheels and the risk for getting airborne.

GIL de FERRAN: Well, after speaking to the many team owners and other stakeholders in our sports, there were various objectives the committee needed to meet with this decision.

Initially, it seemed that we simply were choosing a car. And after much debate and discussion, we came up with a concept which I believe meets many, if not all, of the original challenges.

This unique and groundbreaking concept embraces innovation and competition, very much in keeping with IndyCar traditions, while at the same time achieving the impossible, reducing the cost of injury and competition.

By the usage of standard parts and supply rules, the IndyCar Series ensures costs are under control and teams have access to the latest and greatest. By encouraging multiple manufacturers to supply bodywork parts, and essentially brand the cars, the IndyCar Series brings innovation and competition. By introducing a Safety Cell that meets the highest standards in motorsports, the series again demonstrates that it is in the forefront of safety initiatives.

In short, like I said, it seems that we started with a simple choice and ended up coming up with a concept which I hope you all agree will reenergize and secure the future of our sport.

Thank you.

NEIL RESSLER: We felt for quite a long while that the IZOD IndyCar Series would benefit by adopting a rules package that was closely aligned with the direction being followed by the global automotive manufacturers. Such industry-relevant change would address many aspects of efficiency such as engine design, weight and aerodynamic efficiency. The new modern engine design has already been announced.

The weight of the new car being announced today is targeted at 1,380 pounds, which is 185 pounds lighter than the current car.

The opportunity for each team to choose their own aero kit for fitment on the IndyCar Safety Cell brings with it new possibilities for improved aerodynamic performance. We believe that this industry-relevant approach may well attract more manufacturers to the series.

EDDIE GOSSAGE: Since 1909, IndyCar racing as created great moments for fans all around the world. And since 1997, the IZOD Indy Racing League has created instant classic after instant classic at Texas Motor Speedway. That's what we wanted to ensure, the ICONIC Committee wants to ensure as we go forward it continues to create great moments, drama, excitement, color for fans of motorsports all around the globe.

This recommendation by the ICONIC Committee to make sure that the IndyCars continue to be the fastest race cars in the world, that there's green initiative, that they're safe -- priority one -- that they're fan friendly, all of these things have been part of the process of making this decision.

We held fan forums. It's important to me that we listen to the fans, it was important to the Indy Racing League. We held fan forums at Indianapolis and at Texas. Transcripts of those forums were produced, presented to the staff at the Indy Racing League and to every member of the ICONIC Committee. They've been reviewed and every last word was heard by every member of the ICONIC Committee, discussed, questions. It's an important part of the ingredients to me in making this decision.

In the end, I think what we've wound up with is a chassis that's great looking. It gives us a variety of looks over the year. It's very safe, priority one. But the thing that's most important to me is that it's reduced the cost by 40 percent for team owners. That allows team owners that are currently in the sport to continue to participate and makes the sport more appealing to other team owners to come and join.

We want to grow the IZOD Indy Racing League. We want to continue to have IZOD Indy Racing League events at Texas Motor Speedway for years and years to come. I'm an IndyCar fan since I was a kid. I'm honored to be a part of this committee, honored to be part of this recommendation and look forward to being part of the IZOD Indy Racing League for years and years to come.

RICK LONG: We feel this concept keeps in line with the new engine strategy, which is open and inclusive, while focusing on the high performance.

Beginning in 2012, the series could see increased manufacturers' participation in both engine and car categories. The future engine strategy will allow manufacturers to produce engine with a maximum of six cylinders as well as a maximum displacement of 2.4 liters. The engines will range from 550 to 700-horsepower to suit the diverse set of tracks the IZOD IndyCar Series runs on and will be turbocharged to allow the flexibility in power.

The overtake assist button, also known as the push-to-pass, will allow for an increase of up to 100-horsepower. The engine will run on ethanol fuel, keeping the IZOD IndyCar Series green message.

BERNARD: One of our desired attributes regarding the new car was that it was made in America. I'm very pleased to introduce the Honorable Mitch Daniels, Governor of Indiana, to announce some very exciting new developments. Governor?

GOVERNOR MITCH DANIELS: As they say in the infomercials: Wait, it gets better.

For all us who grew up racing fans, this is a fantastic announcement about the sport we love. I'm here and happy to tell you that it's also a great business and jobs and economic story for the state of Indiana. It's with enormous excitement that I announce that Dallara will locate the factory to build these chasses here in Speedway, Indiana through a deal we have arranged with them. (Cheers and applause)

We believe our number one assignment in public service is to try to grow the economy of this state, more jobs and opportunity for everybody, all good things flow from that. And a big piece of that from the beginning has been as a business, not an emotional sports fan decision, the commitment to try to bring the motorsports industry here in a much larger way. For instance, the relocation of much of the drag racing industry from California to Indiana has been part of that.

Today is the biggest day by far in our motorsports restoration in Indiana, and it goes beyond Dallara. I want to say how grateful we are to the company, how proud we are as a state. We'll be investing through tax credits and grant money and the town of Speedway and Dallara to help make that happen.

But you need to know two more things about Dallara's wonderful commitment. One is they have also committed to use to the maximum extent possible Indiana suppliers to make the component parts that will make up almost half the value in this car. That means more jobs and more opportunities for those companies that are here now or might like to locate here and be a big part of this sport.

Secondly, and something that I think is enormously inventive and appealing, Dallara has agreed as part of the deal to a $150,000 discount for the first 28 cars bought by teams located in Indiana. This industry is coming home to the state where it was born.

So I just want to say on behalf of all the people of Indiana and all the IZOD IndyCar Series fans that populate this state, we are just thrilled and so grateful to everybody who has made this happen. Proud to be a part of it and looking forward now, as I say, to this great industry coming home and having this great rebirth right here where it belongs.

As important as all of that, a stronger, more appealing, better-than- ever Indianapolis 500. Thank you all very much.

HOKE: Thank you, Governor Mitch Daniels.

At this time would you please join me in welcoming the mayor of Indianapolis, Greg Ballard, and the executive director of the town of Speedway Redevelopment Commission, Mr. Scott Harris.

MAYOR GREG BALLARD: Thank you. It's always nice to announce jobs. It's even more fun to announce motorsports jobs. There's a lot going on there. We are really committed along with the state to attract additional motorsports development into this area. We have been doing a lot of efforts in that regard obviously with our travels throughout the world. We now have a sister-city relationship with the county of Northhamptonshire in England. We've been to Brazil. Higher-education facilities around the state are getting these degrees, and so a lot of this is coming to fruition right now.

Our economic development to business, to other countries is evidence of this commitment to promote investment and create these jobs. We will work with the state, the Speedway and the League to attract investment by suppliers and to create these jobs for Hoosiers. We will work with the state and the Town of Speedway to build the kind of quality infrastructure that is necessary to attract these high-tech and skilled manufacturing jobs.

We have tremendous skilled workers here and we are committed to showing the Speedway and the League that this is a very wise investment. We welcome Dallara to our community and we will continue to support the Indy Racing League and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Thank you so much for allowing us to come here today. Take care.

SCOTT HARRIS: It's great to feel the excitement in this room. I'm pleased to welcome our new neighbor, Dallara, to Main Street in downtown Speedway.

Today's announcement is the embodiment of our vision for the town of Speedway, a vision of racing, innovation and community. In this moment, our past and future align.

One hundred years ago, four automotive pioneers designed a racetrack and began the process of defining a community around the new automobile industry. Innovation was key.

Five years ago the town of Speedway and its redevelopment commission made a commitment to revitalization of our community through redevelopment, to establish an environment for new investment. Our plan was a reflection of our heritage, building on the strengths of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, PraxAir Surface Technologies and Allison Transmission.

In early December I was invited by Dallara's U.S. partner to travel to a small town outside of Parma, Italy. I had the opportunity to visit their state of the art design facility and saw within walking distance the cluster of component suppliers. It was a buzzing epicenter of technology.

This same model existed in Indiana and along Main Street in Speedway years ago, and with Dallara it can be replicated today.

Dallara will move to a new state of the art technology center on our Main Street, bring to Speedway, stimulate our economy, bring new jobs and contribute to the continued growth of a vibrant racing centered community. We're confident that Dallara's decision to locate in the town of Speedway will help open the doors for other investors in the industry, and will attract more motorsports-related business development. Dallara, we share your mutual dedication to the racing industry and advanced technology.

As the home to the greatest spectacle in racing, the Indianapolis 500, we are proud to be part of the continued success of the motorsports industry in Indiana and the world. Our commitment to Dallara and their decision to bring the world's foremost racing and automotive design firm to Speedway would not have been possible without the efforts of Dallara's long- term U.S. partner, Indy Racing Experience, the Speedway Town Council, Speedway Redevelopment Commission and Speedway's Town Council. Those representatives are sitting here to my right, and I would like to recognize them here today.

Today I can hear the engines of our community racing forward. Thank you, and again, Dallara, we welcome you to Speedway, Indiana.

Continued in part 3

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar