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Bball
06-06-2010, 03:24 PM
If anyone watched the Texas race from last night (Sat) they probably know exactly what I'm talking about. Simona de Silvestro's car hit the wall in a rather undramatic fashion (as wall hits go at 200MPH +) and skidded along the wall and a small fire broke out. The car finally came off the wall and slid down the track to a stop but that small fire had now turned into a rather scary looking fire that was clearly not going out on its own.

The TV camera was focused right on the car as the flames grew and the driver was trying to unhook herself and get out. I'm sure the director thought we were going to see an example of the famed safety team going to work and turn this around quickly. Instead, we watched the flames grow higher at a rapid rate and had to start wondering if we were seeing a tragedy live on television.

For whatever reason it seemed like plan A was a firehose from the safety truck that I didn't even know was there... and one that must've malfunctioned because they were fiddling with it as the flames grew higher and things were not looking good for the driver. You'd think there would be a Plan B with fire extinguishers but it was slow coming. Fortunately, one of the safety workers went to help the driver out (getting burned himself) and finally a lone fire extinguisher appeared.

This was as bad as I can remember Indycar safety crews looking. I'll admit, we don't see fires like this in Indycars these days normally (thankfully). Usually, at worst in an on track accident there will be an oil fire that pops up if a line is broken in a crash and it quickly burns itself out. But this wasn't that... I'm assuming maybe it was an oil fire initially but as it slid along the wall for that extended period of time it must've set the bodywork on fire.

Normally, Indycar safety crews are the best... not some of the best... THE best. But clearly this was far from their best moment.

In any case, Indycar needs to have a loooooong look at their response and preparedness for this type situation (and figure out exactly what and why something went wrong). This could've been a whole lot worse (she ended up with burns on her hand and the safety worker had burns on his face according to Indystar.com).

Kudos to the Indycar safety team member who went directly to the car to help the driver even though it became clear he wasn't going to have the immediate backup/safety of a firehose or extinguisher.

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grace
06-06-2010, 08:40 PM
Do we know if the crew was a regular IRL crew or something they got from Texas. I have to believe they picked them up in Texas because they were so horrible. Either that or they're the same people who wouldn't throw water on Rick Mears in '81.

Bball
06-06-2010, 08:58 PM
Do we know if the crew was a regular IRL crew or something they got from Texas. I have to believe they picked them up in Texas because they were so horrible. Either that or they're the same people who wouldn't throw water on Rick Mears in '81.


I thought the IRL carried their own safety teams.

I have confidence this situation will be corrected and not swept under the rug. I imagine this was the #1 thing being discussed amongst race officials after the race.

I'm sure they are going to want to know exactly why this car burned the way it did and if it was a total fluke thing or if it could've been avoided. Every accident is a learning experience for race engineers.

I'm also sure safety procedures will be checked and rechecked with some changes made. I don't know why the hose failed to function but someone should've been out of that truck with a fire extinguisher immediately not waiting for the hose anyway. And I don't know why all responders went to mess with the hose anyway. Surely that is at most a 2 person job. Seems like the rarity of this situation showed a lack of preparedness that I believe will be addressed.

If this happens again I bet we see a much more professional response with safety members breaking up into different duties and a clear Plan B ready and in place if the hose does have a problem.

I have to wonder if that wasn't checked pre-race? And if it was checked... was it really equip failure when it was needed or operator error (such as failing to completely remove the hose and not leaving any hose or kinks in it in it's housing)?

Again... I think these errors will be corrected (both equip and human error). Last night was a lesson that the safety teams maybe aren't fully prepared for all possible and plausible situations.

I remember back to the Brack crash at Texas and I can't say the safety crew made any mistakes there so certainly they've seen horrific accidents and acted professionally in the past. I think fire on the track has been reduced in Indycar to the point the safety crew was taken by surprise and just not mentally prepared.

BRushWithDeath
06-07-2010, 08:54 AM
While this was undoubtedly a scary and bad moment for IndyCar, the race itself was not. The entertainment value of a night IndyCar race in Texas takes anything Nascar has to offer and blows it out of the water.

Bball
06-07-2010, 10:23 AM
Although Tony Kanan isn't happy with her, Danica had probably one of the best races of her career. That was a legitimate run to 2nd place. She passed cars on the track and didn't use an alternate pit strategy to make up track position.

Her team gave her a great pit last pit stop and she was able to pass Briscoe with a head of steam for P1... but he was ultimately able to pass her back and check out. She didn't have anything for Briscoe.... but neither did anyone else by that point either.

I hate to say this but Texas is almost too scary.... as are any of the D shaped ovals... but Texas seems the scariest. I suspect they will be a factor in the new car designs with the wheels less exposed. I also expect to see some of the old ovals make a return (Phoenix, Milwaukee, Loudon...)... maybe at the expense of a D shaped oval or two. Although that might have more to do with track promoters and not Indycar per se'.

If they do lose any D shaped ovals I hope the Kentucky Speedway isn't one of them. It's a great place to see Indycars and an easy drive there.

duke dynamite
06-07-2010, 11:00 AM
I thought the IRL carried their own safety teams.

They do. And yes, I was sickened of what I saw happen during the attempt to rescue her from the car.





I hate to say this but Texas is almost too scary.... as are any of the D shaped ovals... but Texas seems the scariest. I suspect they will be a factor in the new car designs with the wheels less exposed. I also expect to see some of the old ovals make a return (Phoenix, Milwaukee, Loudon...)... maybe at the expense of a D shaped oval or two. Although that might have more to do with track promoters and not Indycar per se'.

If they do lose any D shaped ovals I hope the Kentucky Speedway isn't one of them. It's a great place to see Indycars and an easy drive there.
I like the current configuration of these cars. I thought the best part of the race was the closeness between the drivers. Sure it gets scary when the wheels get close, but I think it helps the sport.

I'm sorry, but if IRL chooses the Delta Wing concept I will NOT support IndyCar or any type of American open-wheel racing. The first over-head shot of those cars on the track will prove my point. That and they're not open-wheel.

With that said, I thought this Texas race gave us the best racing we've seen all season. I sure hope they keep Texas in their future schedules.

DaveP63
06-08-2010, 07:32 AM
The Indy Racing League, the sanctioning body of the IZOD IndyCar Series, issued the following statement today regarding the response to the oil fire in Simona de Silvestro's car during Saturday's race at Texas Motor Speedway:

First and foremost, we make the safety of our competitors a priority when on the track. The primary hose on the series' safety truck malfunctioned, so the safety team had to go to the backup of the bottles. All equipment is checked prior to going on track before every race. We are examining why the hose malfunctioned to ensure this equipment failure will not happen again.

Our Safety Team consists of approximately 24 highly-trained safety personnel with a minimum of 14 attending each event - 2 trauma physicians, 3 paramedics and 9 firefighters/EMTs. Team members have an average of 20 years of experience in their respective areas. The safety team is recognized for its high standards and high performance and this problem will be addressed.

From Speed.com

Bball
06-08-2010, 01:12 PM
I'm sorry, but if IRL chooses the Delta Wing concept I will NOT support IndyCar or any type of American open-wheel racing. The first over-head shot of those cars on the track will prove my point. That and they're not open-wheel.


I hope the IRL does not choose any one chassis and I hope they at least consider grandfathering the existing chassis into the mix (with appropriate changes as needed) to ease the transition for lower budget teams.

I've seen some artist renderings of the Delta Wing that painted it and stuck some decals on it and maybe made a couple of tweaks and it improved the look considerably over the gray/black model we normally see.

I wonder about the idea of at least allowing the Delta Wings at Indy (for another chassis option) even if you don't allow them as normal IRL cars for the season.

Innovation is part of the sport and throwing cold water on it in an attempt to lower costs has also lessened interest and taken money out of the sport.

Yes the Delta Wing looks odd... but look at the history of the Indy 500... Many odd cars have made appearances thru the years. Some of those odd designs ended up morphing into the modern racers we see today. But the new rules utilizing the same chassis year after year (both in the series and at the Indy 500) don't lend itself to technology moving forward (or create storylines for the auto press to grab onto).

Of course the quest for speed has been dampened as well. That's one of the reasons I think new designs will be protecting the wheels better. That may be a necessary trade off to get some speed back into IMS for quals plus make the D shaped high banks (like Texas) safer for drivers and fans. Not only do the totally open wheel designs create drag making the cars less efficient but they also create the scenario where we see cars getting launched into the air where driver/vehicle safety features lose their effectiveness AND it also endangers spectators.

Qualifying speeds are one thing, race speeds another. Even though I think Indy needs cars knocking on new records in practice and quals I don't think they necessarily need those speeds for the race. So if they want to adjust the rules to allow for that disparity I'd be open-minded and listen.

One thing lost in the talk of the Delta Wing is even if you don't like the design (look), the concept of having a baseline design that is free for anyone to use and build, tweak, etc is something that should be considered. It's a method of totally thinking outside the box and eliminates one of the things that is bound to happen if you allow multiple chassis that are made by a select few exclusive builders- the superior chassis will ultimately prevail as everyone will want the superior chassis... and the lack of innovation and freeze in the rules will eliminate the lower-tiered chassis maker(s) from making radical changes to improve their car to catch up (currently the rules lock the chassis makers into the same car for X amount of years so it's not like they could just create and offer a new chassis for the next season).

You could maintain that same Delta Wing concept no matter what the baseline design looks like.

I have a feeling ultimately the idea of the Delta Wing will prevail, although it might not look anything like the version we see today. But I suspect the radical difference in the looks of the current design will make it hard for TPTB to embrace because of fears fans won't embrace it. Bit that might change if they allow them as an Indy only chassis and someone brings one to the track and has a good month... errr couple of weeks with it.

duke dynamite
06-08-2010, 02:03 PM
I can't say protect the wheels. It's a product of open-wheel racing to have them...open.

However, this is the best design so far:

http://66.223.111.192/Images/2009/IRL/Indy/CarbDay/CarbDay1.jpg

DaveP63
06-08-2010, 04:38 PM
One problem with the delta wing concept is the fact that it will not turn. No way that narrow front track can overpower the grip on those two big tires and make it go around a corner. Engineers designed it and say it will work, my experience says otherwise. Other than that, I love the concept of it!!!

Bball
06-08-2010, 09:11 PM
One problem with the delta wing concept is the fact that it will not turn. No way that narrow front track can overpower the grip on those two big tires and make it go around a corner. Engineers designed it and say it will work, my experience says otherwise. Other than that, I love the concept of it!!!

That's the question I've been having... How will it turn?

I think it will require some heavy use of the accelerator to turn.

Trader Joe
06-08-2010, 10:43 PM
I like the Swift Engineering proposal the best.

The delta wing concept looks retarded.

http://jalopnik.com/5466952/gallery-swift-engineering-2012-indycar-proposal/gallery/5

Bball
06-09-2010, 12:15 AM
The 'look' of the Delta Wing isn't my favorite either... but that said... The prototype being painted that steel gray color with no signage doesn't help it look like a race car.

I do think it looks (somewhat) better when you see it with a better paint scheme and sponsor logos.

http://image3.examiner.com/images/blog/EXID31218/images/Penske_Sunoco_Delta_Wing_Test_Platform_-_2-11-2010.jpg


http://www.offyracingengines.com/OFFY/OFFY__files/28 Offy Deltawing 3.jpg

Or with a little tweaking and logos...
http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/296841/PenskeDW.jpg

Of course the other options are much more traditional looking:
Lola-
http://cdn2.sbnation.com/imported_assets/379875/291.jpg

BAT-
http://www.indycar.com/var/photos/46013/FULL.jpg

Dallara 2012-
http://www.hvmracing.com/hvmblog/wp-content/upload/dallara-inside-02052010.jpg

Swift-
http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/12/2010/02/swift_indycar_06.jpg

Bball
06-09-2010, 12:58 AM
This has kind of morphed into an Indycar in general thread (which is fine) but something to add to the original post and point is this photo. In case there was any question of the seriousness of the incident and the need for a faster (read-more competent) response, then look at this photo of Simona's helmet-


http://media2.wishtv.com//photo/2010/06/07/simona_20100607173320_640_480.JPG

duke dynamite
06-09-2010, 08:42 AM
Indycar issued a statement saying that they had faulty hoses.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nascar/news;_ylt=Alr0RPSuJ7JyHtFowBFQPUPov7YF?slug=ap-testonly


INDIANAPOLIS (AP)—The IndyCar Series has acknowledged that a malfunctioning hose complicated efforts by Texas Motor Speedway’s safety workers to extinguish the fire on Simona de Silvestro’s car Saturday night.

De Silvestro was eventually pulled out of the car by the workers. The IndyCar rookie burned her right hand.

On Monday, league officials issued a statement saying workers were forced to use backup bottles to put out the fire and that it would look into why the equipment did not work. All equipment, the statement says, is checked before each race.

At least 14 of 24 safety members are required to attend IndyCar races. At least two trauma doctors, three paramedics and nine firefighters or EMTs must be work race day.

Trader Joe
06-09-2010, 08:54 AM
At this point though, I'm just glad they're gonna bring forced induction back.

DaveP63
06-09-2010, 11:15 AM
That's the question I've been having... How will it turn?

I think it will require some heavy use of the accelerator to turn.

It won't...It'll push like a dump truck. Engineers and engineering is fine, but only if they've ever put their head outside into the sunshine ;)

Bball
06-09-2010, 12:41 PM
Indycar issued a statement saying that they had faulty hoses.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nascar/news;_ylt=Alr0RPSuJ7JyHtFowBFQPUPov7YF?slug=ap-testonly

Faulty hoses might've added to the problem but their response was all wrong and muddled and confused from the beginning. I think it's just been so long since this kind of situation has occurred that they just weren't properly prepared for the initial situation... let alone for an equipment failure.

It looked like duties were not properly delegated to begin with and it just went downhill from there. I think at least two of the responders should've went immediately to the car and one or both of them should've had fire extinguishers. The other two could've handled the hose.

DaveP63
06-09-2010, 04:33 PM
You might well be correct. Inactivity breeds complacency. I'd wager that this situation will be corrected very promptly. The fact that she couldn't get the head surround out is a little distressing. I used to drill our drivers to make sure they could get the pins out and how to pull it and toss it over the nose.

Bball
06-09-2010, 06:24 PM
You might well be correct. Inactivity breeds complacency. I'd wager that this situation will be corrected very promptly. The fact that she couldn't get the head surround out is a little distressing. I used to drill our drivers to make sure they could get the pins out and how to pull it and toss it over the nose.

If you look closely at the video of the accident I posted you never see the 2nd hose ever being used either. What LOOKS like the 2nd hose spraying is actually the 2nd fire extinguisher. It makes me wonder if the 2nd hose was ever operational either. And why the delay with it (assuming it did finally operate off camera)?

Regardless if it's equipment failure, operator error, or both I have every confidence that this situation is already corrected for the next time. ....and I bet redundancy will be part of the equation to make a malfunctioning hose a small blip in the rescue and not turn it into a black eye for the sport.

SycamoreKen
06-11-2010, 12:29 AM
The Delta Wing car looks like a land speed record car, not a race car. All of the other choices look better than that one, in my opinion.

I find the general concept that the cars have to be "safer" going against the whole sport. Why do they have to be safer when the driver knows going in what the dangers are? That is why they are special. They can put away the worry of getting hurt and do amazing things with those cars at those speeds. I'm not advicating being reckless and not caring about their welfar, but are we getting to wimpy these days? Open wheeled racing, be it sprint cars to F1 is special just because of that. If a driver doesn't want that challenge then go get in a stock car.

DaveP63
06-11-2010, 08:25 PM
Safer is a relative concept. It is safer in the aspect that the cars are more able to shed energy during impact than they were before, but they are not and never will be "safe".

SycamoreKen
06-11-2010, 11:52 PM
I agree with that. I just don't get the need to cover up the open wheels. That is what makes the cars more dangerous and more challenging to drive.

Bball
06-12-2010, 01:18 AM
I agree with that. I just don't get the need to cover up the open wheels. That is what makes the cars more dangerous and more challenging to drive.


I think maybe what I am saying is getting lost in the translation.

I do believe Indycar, especially at the Indy 500 time trials, needs to be pushing the boundaries of speed. OTOH They can't make the cars rolling coffins so safety has to be a factor but they can't just tweak the rules and use stale technology to keep the cars in the same speed range year after year after year. Let alone throw curveballs in to slow them or maintain speed year after year. That dilutes the imagination of the public. ...And Indy is not just about the race. In fact, if Indy is about the race alone then we see it loses a lot of what has made it compelling over the years.

Then factor in the 'exciting' races at Texas, Chicagoland, etc. D shaped, high-banked, cookie cutter ovals. Yes they are exciting. Part of that excitement is the potential for a close finish. Part of that excitement is seeing drivers driving on the edge of disaster.

Chris Economaki once said people don't go to the races to see death, they go to the racers to see drivers cheat death.

I agree with that. But they don't go to the races to see a car go flying into the stands either. The closeness of the racing, especially on the D shaped ovals with open wheel racers isn't exactly the safest for spectators. So you have a double-edged sword- With the potential of an accident getting out of control where the car's safety features are tested outside their design parameters AND the track safety features (for fans) are as well.

These type of flying car accidents are too unpredictable to cover all the safety bases.

Nobody is clamoring for fenders, but protecting the wheels against the type of wheel to wheel contact that sends a car flying shouldn't be out of the question.

I want to see Indycars at Indy going faster again... at least in qualifying trim. If this change makes that again feasible then I am all for it. I'm less concerned about more speed for the D shaped ovals. There it's just a matter of the potential for disaster with the close racing that the cars and track types gives us.

I also like the excitement of the D shaped tracks but I realize if Indycar ever puts a car thru the fence (or over it) the game is over. While it can happen at Indy (see Renna accident or even Conway's accident) the D-shaped tracks are a place where we might just be awaiting the inevitable if we don't do something to control it soon. Those tracks breed the situations where flying cars are extra likely.

As I've already said, once you have a car in the air all bets are off on predictions or expectations of what can happen in that wreck. The absolute randomness of it puts you at the mercy of safety features that just weren't designed with this type of accident in mind.

I think a design can be done in a way that doesn't radically alter the look of the cars the way the Delta Wing is doing.

Also, if we're truly into the sport being about the technology of speed, having those big exposed tires and wheels is actually a major source of drag (wind resistance) on the cars. So it isn't helping them go faster or use fuel more efficiently either.

DaveP63
06-12-2010, 11:08 AM
Many good points there. One thing that I have been pondering about qualifying is using a different engine map on the ECU to allow more power for qualifying and then cutting it back for the race. That would allow faster qualifying times, but keep them more under control for the race itself. There are ways to minimize wheel exposure for open wheel cars, but even with them "covered" as it shows in some of the proposals, the construction of the wings, endplates and sidepods will still allow them to collapse under impact and expose the wheels. It just keeps that extra 10-12 inches of tire out of the immediate "here, trip over me" zone.

Bball
06-12-2010, 12:38 PM
Engine mapping differences for qualifying and the race, at least at Indy, is something I've thought about before as well. I don't see the downside although I do see the need to keep the genie in the bottle somewhat. They can't be finding an extra 10MPH each year or else they will outrun advancements in safety.

OTOH, hamstringing the cars until they are running speeds they ran 20 years ago isn't the right answer IMHO.

Once the genie was out of the bottle and the 240MPH barrier was in sight (239MPH in practice... 236MPH qualifying), following that the next year with 218MPH wasn't exactly stupifying for the public's imagination.

They did get over the 230 barrier again in 2002 and 2003 but then went back to 222MPH in 04.

There has always been tweaks to slow the speed increments down over the years, but during the IRL era they've been much more active in keeping speeds down.

DaveP63
06-13-2010, 06:16 PM
Just have to see what the new package offers. I'm not sure whether Honda issues the ECU for the weekend or IRL. It's fairly easy to change the mapping with a computer program so it'd be easy to get one setup for qualifying, turn it in and get another for the race. Put a seal on it when installed so it's easy to check for tampering during post race.

Bball
06-13-2010, 06:31 PM
Just have to see what the new package offers. I'm not sure whether Honda issues the ECU for the weekend or IRL. It's fairly easy to change the mapping with a computer program so it'd be easy to get one setup for qualifying, turn it in and get another for the race. Put a seal on it when installed so it's easy to check for tampering during post race.

Wouldn't this be something that is already checked post race (and post Q)? I'm figuring the IRL would be cautious of any chip tampering possibilities done now even.

DaveP63
06-14-2010, 09:08 AM
I'm sure that it is. I can't imagine them letting the teams keep the "race" ECU between events, they'd be modified in seconds...The way I've seen it done in other series is the series keeps them in a slotted case and hands it out during pre-practice tech. Once it's installed, it's sealed until post race when they come around and collect them after inspection or in the tech line.

SycamoreKen
06-14-2010, 10:30 PM
I understand both of your points and see where you are coming from. It would be nice to see the series actually make innovation and originality a part of it. There has to be a way to make that happen without making it too expensive.

DaveP63
06-15-2010, 06:52 PM
Common ECU? But I don't know if it's possible. I'd love to see them just hand out a tub and a few common components and tell them to go for it, but it'll never happen.

Bball
06-17-2010, 12:24 AM
Izod officials: Safety team did not follow protocol in fiery rescue

The Izod IndyCar Series' safety team did not follow protocol in rescuing driver Simona De Silvestro in a fire earlier this month at Texas Motor Speedway, series officials said today.


The first rescuer on the scene should have used a pressurized water can to protect her. Instead, he tried to release a kinked hose mounted to the truck, IndyCar's president of competition said.

De Silvestro and two rescuers suffered minor burns. Brian Barnhart said no disciplinary action is needed.

"They're beating themselves up pretty good," he said.

But, he added, "Clearly we stumbled on this one."

http://www.indystar.com/article/20100616/SPORTS01/100616025/1217/SPORTS0107/Izod-officials-Safety-team-did-not-follow-protocol-in-fiery-rescue

Bball
06-23-2010, 11:14 PM
Danica with some NSFW language on the scanner. Apparently she didn't like Kanan's hardcore, take no prisoners pass on her at the Iowa race this past weekend.

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DaveP63
07-01-2010, 07:20 PM
Indycar to announce chassis selection 14 July.

Dr. Goldfoot
07-02-2010, 01:36 AM
I'll treat this as an official IndyCar thread.....just some info

Adam Carroll confirmed for Mid Ohio in addition to this weekend for AA

DaveP63
07-05-2010, 01:19 PM
Sounds like a schedule shakeup is coming down the pike. Nothing major, but look for some tweaks to come.

Dr. Goldfoot
07-07-2010, 04:46 PM
Tomas Scheckter in the 24 for Toronto.

DaveP63
07-14-2010, 05:46 PM
IT'S THE FREAKING DALLARA!!! :bs::bs::bs:

All that :bs: so they can go back to drinking out of the same toilet? God I am pissed. They are still going to be as expensive as hell until they start building them in Indy (and by then the price will double). I don't give a crap what the news release says, with the euro conversion and all the import duties on the wheels, spares and tubs, they'll be right back in the same boat they're in now. Don't even tell me that all of the various aero kits aren't going to be rushed straight to the wind tunnel by the big boys and they'll pick and choose the best bits so don't even tell me how that's going to save money. Aero isn't cheap.

What a load of crap.

Bball
07-15-2010, 02:03 AM
I just checked in on the new specs a little while ago. I need to let the idea settle awhile. I was hoping there would be multiple chassis, but then I feared that would just end up being 1 chassis with everyone migrating to the perceived 'best' chassis. The only way to avoid that would be not to freeze the specs too much to not allow the 2nd tier car a chance to go back to the drawing board and fix whatever is slowing them. And now we're back to the 'money' and 'cost' argument.

But IF something makes the series more attractive to fans and sponsors, even if it does cost more, having more money in the series would help balance that out.

From a quick glance I like the idea of the tub being the locked in part and then allowing quite a bit of innovation with the rest of the pieces of the car.

But the big money teams will find a way to maximize their pieces... But then again... the big money teams do that now in any way they can. Just having the cars not all look identical is a start in the right direction I think.

I'd like to see them start allowing some individual aero changes as soon as next season for the existing cars.

I'm not coming away from this announcement as excited as I'd hoped to be... But it's not as bad as it could've been either. ...I'm leaning towards thinking it's at least a step in the right direction. Just not nearly the step I'd hoped for. But maybe baby steps is all that I should hope for in this economy.

Containing costs is good only if it doesn't contain interest while doing it. That is the hurdle they need to jump.

Bball
07-15-2010, 02:09 AM
INDYCAR: 2012 Car Reactions
SPEED’s Robin Miller provides first reactions and insight into IndyCar’s new car concept.


The only radical thing about the first new Indy car in almost a decade will be visible on the price tag but it’s such a dramatic departure from today’s costs it could jump start open wheel racing in America.

After two months of analyzing facts, comparing companies and gauging the economy, IndyCar’s 7-man ICONIC panel opted for a familiar name but with a whole new set of prices and parameters that could bring some diversity back to the Indianapolis 500.

Dallara, which has built Indy cars since 1998 and been the sole supplier since 2005, has been selected to build the guts of the 2012 chassis – the Indy Safety Cell. But the rule book is now open for Lola, Swift, BAT and Delta Wing (the other four companies vying to get the contract) or any interested racing/car manufacturer to design their own bodywork, wings and aero packages.
IndyCar's 2012 car will be constructed by Dallara, but open for manufacturers to create their own aero kits. (IZOD IndyCar)

In other words, there is the potential to have several different looking cars at the Indianapolis 500 after eight straight Mays of boring spec racing.

But, unlike the current Dallara model which sells for $700,000, the rolling chassis for 2012 will list for $349,000. And, with a nice rebate from the Indiana government, that figure will drop into the neighborhood of $235,000 if you are an Indiana-based team.

Considering Honda is expected to drastically lower its yearly lease, this means almost a 50 percent reduction in start up costs.

“It’s very good news, it’s what we needed because the prices have been out of line with the value of our series for quite a while,” said Dennis Reinbold, who along with Robbie Buhl has been fielding Indy cars for a decade.

Tony Cotman, a member of the ICONIC board and chief steward of the Indy Lights who also was the mid-wife of the 2007 Panoz in Champ Car, is pushing for rigid control on parts.

“The reduced car cost is necessary and overdue but the critical thing is the running costs, that’s where the teams spend all their money,” said Cotman. “And we have to do a good job of controlling the parts prices.”

After listening to the pitch of five car manufacturers, the 7-man ICONIC committee assembled by IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard selected Dallara to build the new car – which will be assembled in the shadow of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It was the Italian company’s willingness to put up a racing factory on Main Street in Speedway, which will bring a minimum of 75 new jobs to Indianapolis, that really swung the panel’s decision.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is appropriating approximately $5 million to help subsidize an industry that still brings millions to the local economy. That money will be given to Dallara which, in turn, will give $150,000 rebates to each Indiana-based team buying a new car.
Tony Purnell addresses the crowd as Neil Ressler, Rick Lond and Gil de Ferran. (LAT)

When Bernard, who had never seen an Indy car race when he was hired last winter, announced he was forming a 7-man committee to chose cars and engines, it was met with much skepticism since most racers can’t agree on what day it is.

“It was an unbelievable process to have seven experts with a range of ideas and opinions that were 180 degrees apart on some aspects and to see how they rolled up their sleeves,” said Bernard, who enlisted Tony Purnell, Rick Long, Eddie Gossage, Neil Ressler, Brian Barnhart, Gil de Ferran and Cotman to make the most important decisions in recent history.

“With serious debate, research data and critical thinking, they became a team and were unanimous in every decision.”

Some of the current IndyCar owners had voiced their support for the DeltaWing, a space age creation from the mind of ex-Lola designer Ben Bowlby, which was funded by Chip Ganassi.

It was seen as too much, too soon by many insiders but Bowlby’s creative concept was the impetus for IndyCar to get off its behind and finally address a new car last winter.

Lola, with the longest-running history at Indy dating back to 1965, had been absent from the US scene since 2006 and made a strong presentation to the ICONIC board while Swift’s proposed design was viewed by many as the slickest.

But, those companies either wanted total exclusivity or weren’t funded well enough to match Dallara’s commitment to a dedicated production facility.

“Tony Purnell came up with the idea of the safety cell and letting everyone get creative with the car’s clothes,” said Bernard. “I know a lot of people wanted us to have two or three cars but right now that just wasn’t feasible.

“Hopefully, we’ll have several different looking cars and different sounding engines by 2012.”

http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/indycar-2012-car-reactions/

DaveP63
07-15-2010, 08:12 AM
What I take issue with is the fact that it's Dallara. This is the same company that's been screwing them like blind cats for the last umpteen years. The fact that the business model allows them to suddenly drop prices by 45% should tell you all you need to know about what they've been up to. Don't even get me started on the spare parts...

It will just be a matter of time before they all look alike again. As soon as all the "open" aero components are available, Roger, Chip and Michael will buy one of each and spend a couple of million in the wind tunnel to find out which one is best for what type of track...Everyone else will follow suit soon enough.

travmil
07-15-2010, 11:36 AM
I'm sorry, but this is crap. They should have opened it up completely if they wanted to excite EVERYONE and not just racing fans. You know what I want to see? I want to see a 33 car field where there are no two alike. Different engines, different body styles. The only stipulation should be that your wheels have to be open, and you have to maintain a competitive speed for safety. I'd like to see the big teams rolling up to the line with different cars each knowing that their driver is driving the baddest mother****er on the track and then proving it. This junk is just more of the same boring ****.

Trader Joe
07-15-2010, 08:47 PM
So are they going to put in turbos?

No?

Then they're morons

Bball
07-15-2010, 11:01 PM
So are they going to put in turbos?

No?

Then they're morons


Earlier, IndyCar officials announced a turbocharged engine for 2012 that will generate between 550 and 700 horsepower.

http://www.indystar.com/article/20100715/SPORTS0107/7150407/1217/SPORTS0107/IndyCar-Come-one-come-all

Dr. Goldfoot
07-20-2010, 06:28 PM
Prince Eddie in for Chicago, Kentucky & Homestead.

Bball
07-28-2010, 02:10 AM
I had gigs this weekend so my race viewing was via DVR so I'm just catching up on some thoughts. Was that not absolutely the worst call in Indycar history to black flag Helio on the restart at Edmonton?

Was that Barnhart's way of countering the complaints of favoritism that he's been accused of showing Penske?

...And I thought some of the blocking calls (and penalties) were bad at the 500...

Barnhart has taken the drama out of the Indy 500 starts... and seems to be one of the chief proponents in dumbing down the racing.

It's time to send Barnhart away. Now.

Give Helio the win back for Sunday's race with a HUGE apology. Give Barnhart the summer off.

DaveP63
08-16-2010, 08:18 AM
They hired Tony Cottman to oversee the new car and engine package. He did the leg work on the Panoz that Cart used until it folded...

Bball
08-20-2010, 04:35 AM
I'm not sure about the date change for Kentucky. If my friends are any indication Labor Day weekend is not a fan friendly date. People who normally go are not going this year due to the date (family plans....)...

Bball
08-27-2010, 05:13 PM
Unofficial reports say this will be the last Chicagoland Indycar race. Too bad. Seemed like a good race nearly every time. New Nascar dates don't leave a viable Indycar date available... plus the question of sanctioning fee vs value coming into play.

Meanwhile, Robin Miller is reporting Indycar owners are complaining about the 2012 car proposal. If I read it correctly, it's the not the proposal per se, just the costs of having to buy new cars in 2012. Apparently, they prefer updates for the current package... not new cars...

I was under the impression the package was going to grandfather the existing cars and that obviously didn't happen. I think if I was in charge I would've opened up the rulebook to allow a wider range of aero changes to the current chassis beginning with the 2011 season (if not immediately) and did a phase in for the new car that wouldn't necessarily start in with a hard line of 2012.

IMHO a different look is needed on the track ASAP.... but I agree in this economy forcing teams into new cars in 2012 with no grandfathering of existing chassis is cutting it close.

But part of that is Indycar dragging it's feet on moving forward until they HAD to do it and acting reactively rather than proactively and attacking this a few years back with a longer looking plan. ...IMHO...

DaveP63
08-30-2010, 07:59 AM
More on the soap opera about the new cars...

http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/marshall-pruett-indycar-cant-we-all-just-get-along/P1

Bball
08-31-2010, 05:45 PM
Interesting stuff. Hopefully Bernard can play the right cards and keep everyone on track. I like how he seemed to bring some energy to the series and some forward vision initially but I'm wondering if that's stalling out now.

I'm really curious how the Kentucky crowd will be this week. Normally there would be 4-5 of us going but there's only 2. Labor day weekend and family plans trumped the race for the people that would likely be going with me. ...and it was almost just me going until 1 person was able to make some different arrangements...

Bball
08-31-2010, 11:43 PM
Full Story:
http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/miller-both-barrels/

Sounds like Bernard has Miller's support.


...But he’s a smart, stand-up guy with a brain for business who is LISTENING TO THE FANS and is respected by a lot of big hitters in this country. His biggest faults may be his optimism and the fact he hasn’t learned how to lie.

Yet to think he busts his *** and may not have the owners’ unanimous support is as ignorant as it is maddening. Just remember this: he’s trying to clean up the mess you’ve (owners) helped make of open wheel racing.

And six months ain’t nearly enough time to find a big enough mop.

From Speed.com

duke dynamite
09-01-2010, 09:42 AM
Got my Kentucky Indy 300 tickets!

DaveP63
09-02-2010, 07:39 AM
I've been stewing on this a while. Do I agree with the decision that was made re: Dallara? Hell no. I think I made that plain. But why in the name of God should they (Cottman and Bernard) give a **** what the "disgruntled owners" think. The whole spat revolves around the fact that the "disgruntled owners" feel slighted for not being consulted. No, not consulted, begged...Hat in hand, like visiting Don Corleone. There is not another series on the planet that goes begging to their "disgruntled owners" to get their input on how they should conduct business (OK, MAYBE Formula One). They say these are the rules. Comply with them and race within them or **** off. Maybe the "disgruntled owners" need to get out of bed with Delta Wing. (Which is an interesting concept for either a dragster or land speed record vehicle). If they truley reduce prices, the "disgruntled owners" could indeed be replaced fairly quickly.

Bball
09-06-2010, 04:05 PM
I think it would be nice if Indycar didn't obsolete the old chassis everytime they come up with a new 'spec'. The top tier teams will always wanted the latest and greatest but I'm sure there are plenty of upstarts who might like to buy "last year's car" and go racing even though they might know they are fighting an uphill battle as far as wins goes. Plus this would allow more frequent updates instead of sticking with one car for 7 years or whatever because nobody would be forced into buying new equipment on some hard line date.

As long as Milka Duno has a ride you know you won't finish last if you can keep the wheels on the car.

I know the counter argument is going to be "If everyone doesn't buy a new car then _insert chosen builder here_ won't be able to make an affordable car"

You know, racing survived and thrived for a lot of years without any one manufacturer winning the contract to build ALL the cars for a given series.

Maybe it's time to look to the past in order to again think outside of the box.

IMHO the lack of money in the sport is because there has been such a loss of interest in the sport. Perhaps, these cost control measures are hurting the cash flow as much or more than helping it? IOW.... they are helping to create the lack of interest that is making the series less valuable to sponsors...

DaveP63
09-06-2010, 04:58 PM
When they had more than ONE FREAKING CHASSIS SUPPLIER a lot of the little guys bought the one or two year old hand me downs. Especially the Indy only guys. I don't know what the answer is, but I'd love to see them take the shackles off and give them a sheet of rules and tell them we'll see you two days before the first race for tech inspection.

Dr. Goldfoot
09-07-2010, 04:57 PM
Milwaukee back on for 2011

DaveP63
09-07-2010, 06:22 PM
YES!!!