IRL to further copy Champ Car The IRL's Brian Barnhart, Terry Angstadt, and Bud Denker (Detroit Grand Prix) met with the media today at Belle Isle and we present to you below the highlights
1. Bud Denker: Aug 29-31 for the Detroit race next year, with ALMS once again.
The event has gone well this year despite limited time for preparation. IRL has 5 year contract, 4 year option. Tremendous turnout of fans exceeded expectations.
2. Brian Barnhart: "Tremendous improvement over previous events here." Looking forward to long relationship with Detroit and Belle Isle.
3. Bud Denker: The IRL and ALMS "will be in Detroit for years to come!" Had to educate fans about ALMS, initial sales were heavily toward IndyCar. Fewer than 500 tickets left for IRL race. Had some big corporations buy blocks (in other words he meant to say the big corporations bought all the tickets up and gave them away for free because there were few fans that would actually buy them - attendance was alarmingly light both Friday and Saturday)
4. Brian Barnhart: Thanks to mayor and city council, Belle Isle GP Association. Thanks to drivers and teams for the product.
Close side-by-side racing a hallmark of the series. Championship down to the wire this year.
IndyCar has most diverse schedule in motorsports.
First racing series to run on an alternate fuel.
Some of finest driving talent in world (we heard a chuckle from the crowd on that one).
Future: Test in October, and two tests to start '08 season. Will test paddle shifters. Improved side impact protection. New power steering technology for improved feel on road courses and to help drivers like Danica Patrick who has already been running it in races this year - illegally we might add, because the IRL did not inform all the teams that they were trying to help her win races. The IRL rulebook does not allow for power steering. It has been the big controversy this weekend among the drivers.
Looking at new seats and belts for better safety.
Current chassis will be used through 2008, maybe 2009. New tub after that. "We will go from our current 19-inch-wide cockpit to a 21-inch-wide cockpit – similar to F1 – that will make the extraction of the driver that much easier. The new tub, when introduced, would be the nucleus of a new chassis that could debut as early as 2011. New sidepods and a modification to the underwing to integrate a more efficient sound reduction system. A 7-millimeter-thick panel will be applied to each side of the chassis to improve penetration resistance. The panel consists of 21 layers of Zylon, which is bonded to the side of the tub. It is the same modification that the FIA has mandated for Formula 1 in 2008."
High Definition TV for all their race broadcasts in 2008.
Happy with 3.5 L engine. Happy with ethanol. Series is at forefront of green racing.
Will develop new races both domestic and international. Will maintain mix of oval, road, street, but overseas events may be non-points races.
Working on 17th date for 2008. "Will be big news." Other 16 will be on same weekend as this years.
20 races eventually including Canada and Mexico.
5. Terry Angstadt: The IRL partnered with Art Center College of Design for ideas for the new car, new marketing and branding.
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