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The Ugly Duckling UPDATE #3 Rumor has it that Dallara counted on the other manufacturers building body kits for the new IndyCar, and they never really meant to go racing with this kit.  But if that were true, why would anyone in their right mind come up with come up with the look they did?  You just wouldn't make a car with your name (Dallara) on it look like they did unless they were either on drugs or had some secret death wish to defame their own name.

The American made Panoz DP01, above, vs. the foreign Dallara 'Ugly Duckling', below
Another reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Why couldn't IndyCar have gone back to Panoz and get them to update the DP01 for ovals?  That is obviously a proven, successful design since it is still being raced in Europe, and it worked great on the road and street courses.  It would definitely be better looking than the new Dallara.  Hell they could have kept the old chassis and just run the DP01 with the new engine since the new schedule is mostly non-oval anyway.  That would be cheaper and better than the ugly Dallara, plus it would be an American company. David Hewitt, Portsmouth, VA

Dear David, We do not have all the specs on the new Dallara IndyCar, but we are being told by IndyCar that the cost to run a full season with the new IndyCar will be less.  However, IndyCar has yet to publish the parts list, so the teams may yet end up getting ripped off, but lets hope not.  Here is what we do know and we do not see a significant savings from the 2007 Panoz, but we do know that the teams will be writing checks to a foreign company rather than an American company:


2006 Lola 2007 Panoz DP01 2012 Dallara
Tub $100,000 $55,000 Not Announced Yet
Gearbox $110,000 $45,000 Not Announced Yet
Nose $33,000 $16,000 Not Announced Yet
Undertray $42,000 $13,500 Not Announced Yet
Sidepod $16,500 $7,500 Not Announced Yet
Oil cooler $12,430 $4,750 Not Announced Yet
Rolling Chassis $292,000 $225,000 $385,000 (with $70K aero kit)
Engine $1.2M/year Cosworth $750K/year Cosworth *$575K/Year Honda, Chevy, Lotus
Weight 1560 Lbs 1460 Lbs 1350 Lbs (goal, but goal not met)
HP 700 HP 750 HP (800 w P2P) 550 - 750 HP (Oval - RC/Street)
*Cost subsidized by engine manufacturers

01/01/12 Another reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Just saw the post about the ugly 2012 Indy Car.  I propose that they change the chassis nomenclature from DW 2012 to BB 2012.  Why dishonor a great Indy champion like Dan Wheldon by putting his name this ugly car? Lets give credit where credit is due.  Brian Barnhart pushed to have Dallara build this rolling butt ugly abomination.  They should call the car the BB 2012 - BB standing for Barnhart's Blunder, because that's what it is.  Mike Neubauer

01/01/12 A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, I could not help but notice your Photos of the Week today where you published two photos of the new Dallara IndyCar showing the great looking road course bodywork that was originally proposed and the speedway bodywork, which makes it the most hideous looking race car mankind has invented in the past 20 years.  Are they that clueless? Mordichai Rosen, LA, California

Dear Mordichai, You are 100% spot on, the new Dallara as tested is indeed hideous.  We suspect IndyCar was forced to choose the version of bodywork with less drag because already the new car is slower than the old car by a fairly wide margin (inferior design), and certainly the hideous looking version has less drag.  One would hope they have the foresight to at least use the better looking bodywork on the street and road courses.  There are only four ovals on the schedule this year so hopefully we will only have to look at the ugly duckling version four times this year.  Unfortunately one of those four is the Indy 500 - IndyCar's biggest event.  Mark C.

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