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Tony Cotman reveals more on new IndyCar
When will first new 2012 car hit the track for testing?
Tony Cotman: The plan is to be on track mid-July
With the move to a smaller engine, was there any serious consideration to go smaller than a 2.2?
Tony Cotman: Yes, I really wanted a 2.0L but with the 2000 mile life I wanted it was not possible at this time if we wanted 750hp
Earlier this month you announced the possibility of using cell phone technology, can you tell us to what extent that means, is it simply live telemetry?
Tony Cotman: yes, looking at basically streaming telemetry directly to you phone in real time
Do you think the whole 2012 project could give IndyCar the success American open-wheel had before?
Tony Cotman: I think it will contribute to reinvigorate the series but it requires more than just a new car to obtain the success we need
What was/is the most important consideration when making decisions about the 2012 IndyCar?
Tony Cotman: There were a few issues, fans, safety, manufacturers and technology
Has there been any talk of a new Indy Lights car, or somehow molding a new Lights car down the road off this new 2012 IndyCar?
Tony Cotman: yes, look for a new lights car in 2013, it would be great if we could use many common components but we'll have to see how it goes
Will teams be allowed to use parts from both their allotted aero kits (Dallara sidepods with Lotus wings)?
Tony Cotman: To build their initial kit, yes. Once homologated you can't mix kits
Will the 2012 engines be using a common ECU? Seems like a good way to eliminate traction control and other unwanted variables.
Tony Cotman: Yes absolutely - It's important for IndyCar to maintain control
Tony, do you look at any other sports or leagues for models of success that could work for IndyCar? For future changes, I mean.
Tony Cotman: strangely enough yes, although racing is different in many ways there's always something to learn from others
Will teams be allowed to switch engine manufacturers mid season?
Tony Cotman: No, it's not good for many reasons especially marketing
Will all the new options causing difference in the cars negate the need for the 2012 car from having teams use "alternate tires" on road/street courses
Tony Cotman: It will throw a new wrinkle into the mix, long term I'd like to see tire competition.
What's the estimated cost saving to an owner for a full season at this point?
Tony Cotman: After the initial capital expense of new equipment about 40% but if you have it you will spend it!
With different Aero Kit Suppliers, aren't you afraid of any controversies about security/legality matters?
Tony Cotman: Great question, That will always come up but this new policy requires a very open format.
Lot of talk of aero efficiency for the 2012 car. That'll be lower drag, obviously, but will that also mean lower overall downforce? Or is that not quite sorted yet?
Tony Cotman: Similar downforce but less drag which requires lees power to drive the vehicle
Do you see the dominance of the red cars continuing in 2012 and beyond, or are there any other teams who you think could take advantage of the change to the new car?
Tony Cotman: Well now there are choices to be made, engines, aero etc so someone will make the wrong choice at some point. Let's be realistic these teams are at the front for a reason - the total package.....
If there's a sizeable advantage for a combination, how would you handle it? Just let it go, or something else?
Tony Cotman: Then great job, it's up to the rest to catch up. You should not be penalized for doing a good job, after all it is competition.
Any idea how engine manufacturers will be allocated to teams yet?
Tony Cotman: yes I do but I need to inform the owners and manufacturers first, probably at our next meeting
Have you guys done any looking at rules for other engine formats than 2.2L V6s? Like, say, higher boost limits for 2.0L I4s?
Tony Cotman: Yes, we've looked at all avenues but the 2.2L format is right for us at this time
In a live chat here yesterday, Alex Tagliani said he'd really like to go to standing starts for road courses. I know you've said the new car would be capable. Do you have any idea if IndyCar has intentions to go to standing starts?
Tony Cotman: Not sure, I'm just a consultant on 2012 vehicle, I don't work for IndyCar but if you asked me I'd do it.
You talked about putting the car on track on June but will there be tests planned by engines and aero kits suppliers before the 2012 season? I mean, not under teams' etiquette but by suppliers themselves?
Tony Cotman: No aero kit on track testing. All done in tunnels and via CFD. Engine manufacturer testing - yes
What is the likely rev range for the new engine?
Tony Cotman: 12,000 RPM max
Do you know if Honda, Lotus or Chevy have already built (dyno'd) their new engines yet?
Tony Cotman: some are further along than other but all progressing well.
Will you have a dedicated test team and driver for the test program or will you have race teams do it?
Tony Cotman: test team is the only fair way but may utilize some current drivers
Sorry, just to clarify my earlier question about alternate engines, basically I meant that would engines smaller than 2.2L be allowed to run against the 2.2L V6s under slightly different rules? Or will it be solely a 2.2L V6 formula?
Tony Cotman: yes, 2.2L is the maximum sorry, I4 etc would be ok
What is hard to do, safety issues or keeping cost down?
Tony Cotman: Safety is the wrong area to save money so containing costs is more difficult
Any word on when any of the aero kit manufacturers will release images or have a prototype so we will know what the new generation of IndyCar will look like?
Tony Cotman: They don't have to announce their intent to compete until May at the earliest
If teams are limited to 2 aero kits, Are Ganassi's 4 cars considered 2 separate teams meaning Chip gets to play with 4 kits if he wants?
Tony Cotman: new car will be dependant upon aero manufacturers interpretation. Still debating aero kit allotment
So, when do WE get to know how mfrs will be allocated? Do you expect to have to negotiate with the owners or do you think they'll agree to your proposal?
Tony Cotman: They will have to agree, we need to do what's best for IndyCar long term. I'd say within the next 45 days
Do you know if all teams/drivers will get access to Dallara's new simulator, will time limits need to be set to keep it fair?
Tony Cotman: Yes they will and it's incredible.
What have you learned most on doing this project?
Tony Cotman: Balancing multiple manufacturers is a difficult thing but stay on course or it can be a political mine field...
Enjoying your job? =)
Tony Cotman: Yes, tough going sometimes but should be a good outcome for IndyCar Racing
What is you favorite part of track design & development?
Tony Cotman: Dreaming up something that's not been done before and providing a track where you can actually pass.
Will you be involved in the Edmonton redesign? If so, any idea what we can expect?
Tony Cotman: Yes, it's going to be better than the current design, there are some restrictions to work around but will be good racing. I'll leave it to the promoter for the rest
Ok, I have one final question we can close this out on. I know NZR was heavily involved with the Sao Paulo track, and it was incredibly racy much to the fans' delight. Is NZR currently, or going to be, involved in any other possible new tracks (minus Edmonton just mentioned) for IndyCar?
Tony Cotman: Yes, there are a few new ventures on the horizon but nothing signed. See you all in Brazil
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