2012 IndyCar took root one year ago Multi-colored lights crisscrossed the stage and a crescendo of music appropriately heightened the scene for the overflow crowd at the Indianapolis Museum of Art as INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard unveiled the next generation IZOD IndyCar Series car via a hologram.
That was one year ago - July 14 - when the 2012 car project that was born from the seven-member ICONIC Advisory Committee's recommendations took root.
Now, the multi-armed project is in full swing. The IndyCar Safety Cell manufactured by Dallara Automobili next week will be mated with a Honda V6 engine for the first time and test fired. The chassis will be delivered to Dallara's temporary Speedway, Ind., base in late July and the first round of on-track testing commences in early August.
Honda will be joined by Chevrolet and Lotus as suppliers of the 2.2-liter, turbocharged engine. They'll have an opportunity to test starting in mid-October.
The 100,000-square-foot, $7 million Dallara factory and engineering center construction project on Main Street, which will house the manufacturing of the new car, is about 50 percent complete. It's Dallara's first facility outside of its Parma, Italy, headquarters.
The public will have the opportunity through interpretive engineering displays and programs in the glass and brick building, plus watching technicians testing and building the IndyCar Safety Cell and its corresponding aero kits, to understand the sport more firsthand.
Scott Jasek, co-owner of the Indy Racing Experience, says he had a vision about eight years ago of a place for people to go to experience every aspect of an IndyCar -- from the design to the driving. The company, which features experiential ride and drive programs at IZOD IndyCar Series tracks and at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Fla., will be a co-tenant in the building.
"We realized there was nothing really open to the public," he said. "So, from that day on informing people about how the cars, teams and sport works was the vision. It really then was the perfect storm with the Town of Speedway redevelopment, Dallara pitching the new IndyCar and everyone wanting it U.S. made."
Besides giving fans a more in-depth view of IndyCar, the facility will bring with it several new jobs, benefitting the town and state. And, in keeping with the green initiatives of the IZOD IndyCar Series, concrete from industrial buildings demolished to make room for the facility have been pulverized and is being used for the subfloor of the building.
The Indy Racing Experience started out with a two-seater IndyCar and now is partnered with Dallara in a facility that has the potential to be an interactive motorsport facility that will draw people worldwide.
"It's unbelievable timing to see what's happened in one year," Jasek said. "The Wright Brothers didn't start out flying 747s, but with time look what their invention turned into."