Chevrolet released images of their aero kit today and after just a couple conversations I have started to make my conclusions about the look of the first of four aero kits scheduled to be released in 2015.
It has to have been one of the better kept secrets in motorsports in a long time. Many drivers I spoke to over the past couple of days said aside from the grainy spy shots released from COTA last year of a reported Team Penske test, nothing has surfaced for them either.
Today, however, Chevrolet busted out renderings of their 2015 road and short oval aero kits at Media Day in Indianapolis.
As you can see, pictured above, there is a sizeable difference to the DW12 Dallara bodywork that the series campaigned the past two seasons. A very sizeable difference.
Judging the book by its cover
Upon the very first inspection I think it has a lot of promise, but as it was go gently put to me, why didn't they just finish off the front fenders and make a DW12 LMP1?
But, is this general opinion really a bad thing? I don't think so.
Considering this is only one of four body styles you will see on track this season, this simply makes me even more excited to see what Honda has come up with.
Seeing parallels in aerodynamics between different disciplines of racing is something that has been around forever. As collective race engineering knowledge increases, the efficiency of aerodynamics will morph in similar directions across multiple platforms. Just look at F1 cars and the length of their engine covers/shark fins...and LMP1 cars, which see a fin from the top of the cockpit to the centre of the rear wing....
My only serious issue with the design is the height and number of winglets. With the speeds of these cars, and the general fragility of these types of aerodynamic protrusions I feel we will either see a season full of debris cautions, or a lot of drivers' day's ruined by punctures.
Don't judge a book by its cover
Before I make any final comments on the appearance of Chevrolet's 2015 challenger I want to ensure that I, and everyone else out there have actually seen what this new package can do on the track.
Obviously, whatever Honda releases will be configured using the exact same set of regulations as the Chevrolet kit, but their design might just focus on a different principal. For a series that has been stuck in a very long spell of spec racing this is a great step forward. The major parts of the cars that are truly manufacturer specific are the engines and the aero design.
With many different racing series looking to cut costs, this bolt in, bolt on style of differentiating manufacturers and bringing back that factory competition feeling is starting to come to fruition. Even the ARCA series (North American low-tier stock car series) is now offering Ilmor 396 race ready engines, which can reportedly go 1,500 miles before a rebuild, and composite body parts that fit together through flange joints, bringing the entire body weight of a full stock car to 90 lbs.
Us IndyCar fans are easily the most brutal, but as the series actively continues to work on cost cutting, increasing field sizes and embracing changes to make their high-risk series just that much safer, we should back down and wait to see what they, and Honda have on offer for us in 2015.