IndyCar gets it right
The IZOD IndyCar Series has hired NZR Consulting's Tony Cotman as a consultant to serve as project manager for the development of its 2012 technical program.
Cotman will be responsible for leading the 2012 car project, including writing technical regulations for both engine and chassis, coordinating with suppliers and manufacturers and communicating with teams. He will work with the IZOD IndyCar Series' technical and safety staff as well as outside engine and aerodynamic experts during the process.
"Now that we have unveiled our 2012 car strategy, we need to move swiftly to complete the rules package as we engage potential manufacturers and prepare our teams for the transition," said Randy Bernard, chief executive officer, IZOD IndyCar Series. "The timing of completing these rules is critical to the development process. By bringing Tony on board to focus solely on the 2012 car, we can let Brian Barnhart and the competition staff focus on completing the current race season while preparing for next year."
Cotman served as vice president of operations and race director for the Champ Car World Series from 2005-07, during which he oversaw the development and implementation of the series' new cost-effective chassis. He directed the Atlantic Series chassis and engine programs from prototype to implementation.
Cotman was a member of the ICONIC Advisory Committee, which researched and recommended the future car and engine strategy to the IZOD IndyCar Series.
"I understand how important developing the right rules are in a timely manner for this process," said Cotman. "Introduction of the new car and engine are not far off, and we have a lot of work to do. Having a strong team and committed chassis and engine partners will make my tasks that much easier. I look forward to developing and implementing rules that will provide opportunities for new manufacturer involvement and increased competition in the 2012 season."
The engine strategy, which will require the IZOD IndyCar Series to adopt rules that can accommodate various engine architectures, was announced June 2. It was followed July 14 by the unveiling of the chassis strategy, which features a Dallara Automobili-built IndyCar Safety Cell as the rolling chassis with aerodynamic body packages open to development within the rules by potential suppliers.
"Tony is the right guy for the job," added Barnhart. "In addition to his experience with developing the rules for the introduction of the Panoz chassis in Champ Car, Tony has been a part of the ICONIC Advisory Committee so he has an in-depth knowledge with the car and engine strategy we have set for 2012. Additionally, his experience on both the team and sanctioning body side bring a unique perspective to this process."
A two-time Indianapolis 500-winning team member, Cotman served as team manager for Team Green in CART in 1998, winning 11 races in three years. In 2001, he was promoted to vice president of racing operations, guiding a three-car program for Team Green and eventually a four-car program when the team became Andretti Green Racing and moved to the IZOD IndyCar Series.
He served as the Indy Racing League's vice president of competition until 2009 before leaving to form NZR Consulting, focusing on race circuit design, safety and management. He continues to serve as a member of the FIA circuits commission and is race director for Firestone Indy Lights.