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DATE News (chronologically)
02/11/10
irl
Radical IndyCar Delta Wing Car unveiled, probably won't get approved. UPDATE #4 Front tires are 4" wide on 15" rims, rears are 12.5" x 15" rims. The low polar moment of inertia, rearwards center of gravity and rearward roll stiffness distribution means the car is in fact very responsive. It has a stable (easy to catch) neutral to oversteer characteristic unlike the current cars where a prevalent understeer characteristic is combated by destabilize the rear to make it turn- giving a small operating window. The sims surprised us all - but we have corroborated across sims to be sure and all is good.  Ben Bowlby, designer of the DeltaWing concept car

02/11/10 We are told the front wheels will steer 23 degrees, but given that the wheels are close together like a top-fuel dragster, and narrow as well, and we all know how well a top fuel dragster steers, this car may not allow a driver to take fast evasive action resulting in more severe accidents.  But let them test it and see how it goes.  Based on our poll (Home Page), the Honda concept car is the clear winner with the fans, so the question is, what does the customer want?

02/10/10 Delta Wing has launched their official website: DeltaWing Racing Cars

02/10/10 A reader asks, Dear AR1.com, Where did you get the idea that the car is rear-steer?  That is not in the specs anywhere.  Arthur Murray

Dear Arthur, That is how it was presented initially.  As you can see, the front tires are very narrow, so initially the concept was to be a "torque steer" from the rear, but again that was the initial go around in September.  We don't know the most recent version since we are not part of the Delta Wing group.  Just so you know, there are many teams that did not sign up for this:  Coyne, Team 3G, Fisher, Foyt, Luczo-Dragon, and Newman Haas.  The company was trying to get R&D money from the State of Indiana to build, test, and develop the car to see if the concept is viable from a performance standpoint.  The state has not committed, so we don't know where they are getting the money to build the prototype to run.  From the fan feedback on the forums, the overwhelming majority do not like it.  The IRL needs to have a product that the fans will buy tickets to come and see, and this is obviously not it, but we do like the out of the box thinking.  Mark C.

Radical Delta Wing IndyCar
02/10/10 Here you have it folks, the official unveiling of the Delta Wing IndyCar.

The Delta Wing car has long been anticipated and  has the backing of a number of leading teams, having been designed by Chip Ganassi Racing's Ben Bowlby, formerly Lola's chief designer.

The proposal was officially unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show today. Its needle nose shape features an extremely narrow front end and wide rear, and tires largely enclosed by bodywork. It has been designed specifically to encourage close racing and to minimize aerodynamic disturbance in the car's wake.

We like some of the innovative thinking, but knowing Brian Barnhart, here is why we think he won't approve it:

We love the new look, very "Jetson" like, but it has some technical aspects that would require changes.  Just one simple issue - it is 4 inches wider than the current car at the rear, so what does that do on tight tracks like Long Beach or Mid-Ohio.  More importantly, the front tires don't steer the car, so that means a different driving style than what any drivers is accustomed to - rear wheel steering.  There is no point of reference for drivers i.e. they can't see the front tires so they don't know how "wide" their car is to make a tight turn or pass. None of the 'feeder' series teach the drivers how to drive a rear-steer car. zzzz

However, the number one aspect that will likely kill this car from Barnhart’s perspective is the fact that it offers little side protection for the driver in terms of a crushable sidepod that the cars currently have.

Delta Wing chief executive officer Dan Partel believes the car could revitalize American single seater racing if it is accepted by the Indy Racing League.

"Today marks a fundamental shift in how race fans and the general public will view all racing cars in the future; this is a game changer," he said. "This radical prototype takes open wheel racing to a new level from both an engineering standpoint and the overall spectator experience."

See feature article on Home Page for more details

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