Easy solution to IndyCar owners revolt over body kits UPDATE #2 Another reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, , I was reading some of the comments regarding the body kits for the new Indy car. I agree with your solution, Dallara should cut the chassis price, and let the teams source their own body kits. It should be the team’s option to decide if they want to buy Dallara’s aero kit. As you said, the solution is quite simple. This seems to be a case of IndyCar and the team owners, “making a mountain, out of a molehill”. John Swope, Hollidaysburg, Pa.
05/05/11 A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Mark Cipolloni is 100% correct. Take the Dallara body kit off of the Dallara rolling chassis and reduce the price by $70K and this problem is solved. The IndyCar owners can then elect to buy the Dallara body kit or another one. By including the body kit as standard IndyCar has forced every team owner to buy a Dallara kit and then if they want another one they can go spend more money an buy it. Wasn't that a sweetheart deal for Dallara? The owners are 100% correct in not wanting to pay twice for body kits. I have read quotes from people like Eddie "The Mouth" Gossage who is blaming the team owners when if they took their foot out of their mouth long enough they would realize the problem arose the day IndyCar decided to give Dallara a body kit sale for every rolling chassis they sell. Mordichai Rosen, LA, California
A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, With the IndyCar team owners voting to not buy new body kits for the 2012 Dallara rolling chassis, is there anything that can be done to avoid the cars all looking 'spec' again? Marie Johnson
|There is an easy solution the IndyCar team owners revolt says AR1.com founder Mark Cipolloni|
Dear Marie, Absolutely. In fact I was shocked when I heard the new Dallara would come with a standard body kit. That decision has now come back to bite IndyCar in the posterior. It should come with no body kit and the price of the rolling chassis reduced by $70K. That savings by the team owners can then be used to buy the body kit from someone else. Problem solved. Randy Bernard should be on the phone to Dallara today. The conversation should go something like this:
"Dear Mr. Dallara, We gave you exclusive building rights for our existing cars and now with the new cars. Your company has benefitted immensely from this. We now need a favor in return. Please stop working on all bodywork development. Build the cars with no body kits and pass the $70K savings over to the team owners who can then use that savings to buy other body kits and give us the variety we are looking for with no increase in cost to them." Mark C.
IZOD IndyCar Series team owners asked INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard to delay the introduction of aero kits until the 2013 season, but Bernard has yet to make a decision on the request.
The owners, by a vote of 15-0 (with one owner abstaining), made an appeal to INDYCAR officials during a meeting held at the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300.
“We had a great team owners meeting in Brazil concerning the 2012 car and made some great developments,” Bernard said in an interview on VERSUS' "IndyCar Open Wheel Weekly." “One of those developments that came out of that though was the team owners voted to not have an aero kit until 2013. And they asked INDYCAR not to have the aero kit until 2013.”
Aero kits, which can be made by any manufacturer, will dress the IZOD IndyCar Series Safety Cell that is being developed by long-time chassis manufacturer Dallara. The new chassis, which will be powered by manufacturers Honda, Chevrolet and Lotus, is scheduled to debut in 2012.
“Having different looking cars is something that has been true and blue to Indy car,” Bernard said. “The ICONIC Committee has told us that is important, but we also have to listen and understand the concerns of our team owners as well. The biggest thing about our team owners is that we are hitting them with a lot of capital outlay next year. We want to make sure that we are listening to everyone right now.”
Bernard has reached out to two of the three engine manufacturers who will participate in the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2012 and understands the challenges they might have in developing an aero kit.
“I’ve heard from the team owners, which is very important to me,” he said. “This isn’t CART or Champ Car, but it is important that we are a team working together. I want to make sure they are being heard, and I respect their opinion. At the same time, we have to do what’s in the best interest of INDYCAR.
“INDYCAR will make the final decision. We will look at it together as an executive team and I may bring the ICONIC Committee back into this. I heard the team owners loud and clear. It’s very important for them to wait until 2013.” IndyCar