College for Creative Studies project reaches mid-terms On March 6, College for Creative Studies Transportation Design students received feedback from Indy Racing League and American Honda officials that will guide the direction of their projects.
Their goal, as set forth by the Indy Racing League and American Honda in mid-January: Create the IndyCar Series car of the future.
The challenge, as directed by Brian Barnhart, president of the competition and operations division of the IndyCar Series' sanctioning body: The chassis should be iconic, the car should meet safety standards and function as well as the current iteration on the IndyCar Series' diverse schedule of ovals and street/road courses.
Over the past six weeks, 13 seniors have worked with Transportation Design chairman Mark West, who designed a curriculum encompassing research of the IndyCar Series, through a process of ideation, refinement of ideas and final direction. Students in late January visited the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum and toured the Target Chip Ganassi Racing shop to see how Indycar racing cars have evolved and why the current ground-effects car is the standard.
Presentations at the Detroit campus included cars powered by bio-diesel, hydrogen, a turbine and a hybrid fuel - all with a variety of wing packages.
"You want to be reasonable about your expectations and the final output, but the variety we've seen is just great," said Dave Marek, chief designer of Honda R&D America.
Students have seven weeks to take sketches to clay models to present to the panel.
"We appreciate the support and input offered by Honda and the Indycar Series," West said. "Now we have to fine-tune what we learned today and make these designs real. Our goal is to offer the IndyCar Series clean, fundamental and fast-designed cars."