IndyCar chassis announcement coming UPDATE "I think DeltaWing has done an unbelievable amount of buzz to the sport," IRL CEO Randy Bernard said. "It has created a lot of creative thinking and that shouldn't be taken lightly. Chip Ganassi is an innovator and wants to see this series moving forward."
Bernard would like to see cost containment with the new design, but does not want that to take away from other key areas for the car. He doesn't want to put a "cheaply made" product on the race course.
"It's our job to make sure that we minimize costs as much as we can without cheapening the sport," Bernard said. "This is the pinnacle of open-wheel racing and we have to keep it at that level. We have to keep safety as an important element of it and keep the competition and speed there. If we can do that while saving money that is a benefit to everybody. But if you can't, you cannot allow the sport to not be the pinnacle of open-wheel racing in North America."
Gearheads see the new car as a tremendous opportunity to bring innovation back to the sport, but Tim Cindric, president of Team Penske, cautioned against getting carried away with that philosophy.
"We've had different cars, we've had different engines in this series and all that competition," Cindric said. "If that is what it takes to take a positive attitude toward IndyCar racing, the combination of promoting the drivers and the personalities that we have are the ingredients. We've had competition with engines and we've had competition with cars and that hasn't moved the needle for IndyCar racing."
June 30 was the deadline to have that package announced. The engine platform was announced earlier this month and the committee continues to review the number of chassis options that have been presented.
"We'll be close but for sure, no more than a month from now we will be done," Bernard said. "It's been very important that technology, relevance, innovations, speed, safety and green are all key attributes to the new car. What has been unbelievable to me is to have seven experts with seven different opinions when they came in, and after doing the research and seeing our demographics and what is important to the fans, we have seen this huge funnel of ideas to now we have decisions made in unison. It has been remarkable to me to see how they are making well thought out decisions." SI.com06/07/10 Izod IndyCar Series officials heard presentations from five potential chassis manufacturers last week, aimed toward a chassis announcement by June 30.
Details of those meetings are confidential because of agreements signed by the seven committee members. But new chief executive officer Randy Bernard said he is more confident than ever that new cars will be in place with the new engines announced last week, both for the 2012 season. Autoweek
“We’ve made significant progress,” he said. “Before we were 50-50 [with odds to implement] for 2012. Today, we’re probably 70-30.”
Brian Barnhart, IndyCar’s president of competition, said the optimism is based on the engine guidelines: a maximum of six cylinders and 2.4 liters.
Both the engine and chassis configurations will be in place for four years, Barnhart said. The rest of the rules will be finalized once participants are known. Engine manufacturers have until the final race of the season, Oct. 2 this year, to announce their intent to participate in 2012. At present, Honda is the only expected commitment.