IndyCar
R
Birmingham
16 Apr
Next event in
39 days
23 Apr
Next event in
46 days
R
Texas
30 Apr
Next event in
53 days
R
Grand Prix of Indianapolis Race 1
14 May
Next event in
67 days
28 May
Next event in
81 days
R
Detroit
11 Jun
Next event in
95 days
R
Road America
18 Jun
Next event in
102 days
R
Mid-Ohio
02 Jul
Next event in
116 days
R
Toronto
09 Jul
Next event in
123 days
06 Aug
Next event in
151 days
R
Grand Prix of Indianapolis Race 2
13 Aug
Next event in
158 days
R
Gateway
20 Aug
Next event in
165 days
R
Portland
10 Sep
Next event in
186 days
R
Laguna Seca
17 Sep
Next event in
193 days
R
Long Beach
24 Sep
Next event in
200 days

Montoya and Servia praise new IndyCar body kit after test

Juan Pablo Montoya and Oriol Servia have given an initial thumbs-up to IndyCar's 2018 universal aerokit after testing the package on Tuesday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Montoya and Servia praise new IndyCar body kit after test
Oriol Servia testing the 2018 Honda IndyCar
Juan Pablo Montoya testing the 2018 Chevrolet IndyCar
Juan Pablo Montoya with Firestone's chief engineer Cara Adams
Juan Pablo Montoya testing the 2018 Chevrolet IndyCar
Juan Pablo Montoya testing the 2018 Chevrolet IndyCar
Oriol Servia being interviewed by the media
Oriol Servia testing the 2018 Honda IndyCar
Oriol Servia testing the 2018 Honda IndyCar
Juan Pablo Montoya testing the 2018 Chevrolet IndyCar
Oriol Servia testing the 2018 Honda IndyCar
The 2018 Chevrolet IndyCar
Juan Pablo Montoya testing the 2018 Chevrolet IndyCar
Juan Pablo Montoya testing the 2018 Chevrolet IndyCar
Juan Pablo Montoya testing the 2018 Chevrolet IndyCar
Oriol Servia with the 2018 Honda IndyCar

The pair of IndyCar veterans each completed over 100 mostly trouble-free laps at a pace very comparable to the race pace for the 2016 Indianapolis 500.

“It’s exciting! For it being the first time in the car, it drives really, really well," exclaimed double Indianapolis 500 winner Montoya, who was working with Team Penske.

“The car looks good, and drives really well. I think they addressed a lot of things (that needed addressing). By not having all the weight at the back end of the car with the rear wheel guards it’s going to make it drive better.

“We haven’t run in traffic, but I think the car will be better, so the racing should be a little better as well.”

Servia, who has made nine Indianapolis 500 starts, including the last seven in a row, was even more effusive in his praise of the sleeker 2018 body kits.

“The first test with the new car was at Indy,” explained the Catalonian veteran. “All the races are important, but we all know that the Indianapolis 500 is, at the end of the day, the race we all care the most about.

“From Lap 1 it just felt like home. The car felt great. I was flat out of the pits, which doesn’t say much about my smarts, but it does explain how good the car felt right away.”

The test, which was originally scheduled to take place over two days, was shortened to one day when all of the test boxes were checked off by 5pm on Tuesday evening.

With load-in for the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course scheduled for Thursday morning, both teams were happy to get the extra day of preparation.

“There was a window, and the window was hit all day long. I think today played out exactly like we were hoping it would,” explained a satisfied Jay Frye, president of IndyCar operations.

“It played out how the data said it would. We came with a plan, and we came with a test matrix, and we got through the test matrix fine.  The teams did a great job. The drivers did a great job.”

The new body kit is a joint effort between IndyCar, Dallara, and design experts in the United Kingdom. Its development involved on-track testing at the end of 2016 with Chip Ganassi Racing, Andretti Autosport, and Ed Carpenter Racing, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis by super computers, and also plenty of time in the wind tunnel.

A similar process was used to design the original IR-12, and during the original three days of testing with Dan Wheldon behind the wheel in September 2011, that ill-handling Honda-powered Dallara struggled to even hit 210mph.

The car, eventually named the DW12 after the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, required a redesigned floor to even be drivable at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

What a difference six years makes, as only four laps after getting on track, Servia turned an unofficial lap speed of 217mph.

After the day of testing was complete, Bill Pappas, IndyCar's vice president of competition/race engineering, understandably had a big smile on his face.

Pappas said: “You hold your breath until the first competitive laps are done and can listen to the driver’s feedback. I think we have to be pleased. It matched up with our numbers that we predicted in the wind tunnel and CFD.”

The day got off to a slow start as a horde of media and cadre of interested crew members from other teams swarmed the cars to give them the once over.

Montoya turned the first laps of the day just before 9:15 am, and 45 minutes later, the longest yellow flag of the day occurred when Servia’s distinctive red, black, grey and white liveried car ground to a halt in front of the packed spectator mounds in Turn 2.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway safety crew was dispatched to the scene to tow Servia’s No. 93 back to the attention of the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports crew, and the problem was diagnosed as “software” related.

The majority of the morning consisted of shorter runs, as the teams, drivers, manufacturers and sanctioning body sought to find a balance that everybody was comfortable with.

As the handling on the cars improved, Servia and Montoya both ended the day with a pair of 20+ lap runs, logging laps, unofficially, in the 218mph range.

The road and street course body kit will make its debut on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn natural terrain Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Tuesday, August 1.

Story by Steve Wittich

shares
comments
New IndyCar design for 2018 hits the track at Indianapolis

Previous article

New IndyCar design for 2018 hits the track at Indianapolis

Next article

Mid-Ohio IndyCar: Pagenaud sets early practice pace

Mid-Ohio IndyCar: Pagenaud sets early practice pace
Load comments

About this article

Series IndyCar
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya , Oriol Servia
Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight? Prime

Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight?

With Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up, 2021 could be the year Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet joins the IndyCar elite, writes David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team Prime

Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team

Over 37 seasons, Dale Coyne has run no fewer than 80 Indy car drivers – including himself! Ahead of his first season running Romain Grosjean, we asked Coyne to pick the best 10 drivers ever to compete for him. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 10, 2021
Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed Prime

Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed

Last Friday, Marco Andretti announced he is withdrawing from fulltime IndyCar racing. David Malsher-Lopez explains how this third-gen racer was a puzzle in the car, but a straight shooter off-track.

IndyCar
Jan 19, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Is the mighty McLaren M16 the greatest ever Indy car? Prime

Is the mighty McLaren M16 the greatest ever Indy car?

When founder Bruce McLaren died in June 1970, his team could have folded. Instead, his loyal band rallied to produce a string of winners - including an Indy car game-changer that won three Indy 500s in six years.

IndyCar
Dec 23, 2020
How Newgarden delivered his best season, yet still lost Prime

How Newgarden delivered his best season, yet still lost

Josef Newgarden was our pick as top IndyCar driver of 2020 but his finest season-long run of performances failed to yield the championship. David Malsher-Lopez explains why.

IndyCar
Dec 18, 2020
2020 IndyCar Review and Top 10 drivers of the year Prime

2020 IndyCar Review and Top 10 drivers of the year

David Malsher-Lopez explains how the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series was unlike any other, and why it featured familiar and unfamiliar faces competing for glory.

IndyCar
Nov 27, 2020
How Dixon won his sixth IndyCar title, in his own words Prime

How Dixon won his sixth IndyCar title, in his own words

Chip Ganassi Racing’s newly crowned six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon takes us round by round through his remarkable season. David Malsher-Lopez listens.

IndyCar
Nov 4, 2020