Dale Coyne explains team's side of winning car penalty after Texas race UPDATE #2 Justin Wilson saw comments by Dario Franchitti and others regarding an unapproved aerodynamic piece being on Wilson's winning car at Texas Motor Speedway, and he has a rebuttal.
"I think (criticism) is misguided," Wilson said Thursday. "That part was for drag reduction. IndyCar put it on the cars at Indianapolis to get the speeds up.
"I don't think it gains (the car) downforce; I think it reduces drag. Usually when you reduce downforce, you reduce drag."
Wilson's bottom line: "I don't think it helped us."
IndyCar agreed, which is why the punishment was only a $7,500 fine and five entrant points. The piece was intended to be allowed on all cars until IndyCar decided otherwise a week before the race.
Franchitti told reporters at Tuesday's Iowa Speedway test that he would "cut a body part off for that much downforce during the race."
Wilson said if the car had so much extra downforce, he would have been able to drive around the 11/2-mile oval without lifting off the throttle.
"But in the race, I never did a single lap flat," he said. "We had a good (chassis) setup that looked after the tires. Our mechanical (balance) won us the race."
Wilson said the questioning by Franchitti and others has taken away some of the euphoria from winning his first oval-track race.
"It's definitely frustrating to have to explain yourself," he said. "You just want to celebrate until you get to the next race." Indy Star
06/11/12 Here is the progression of events leading up to Texas and post qualifying as told to AR1.com by team owner Dale Coyne after his winning car was penalized after tech inspection Saturday night.
|Dale Coyne, Gail Coyne, and Justin Wilson|
"The chief mechanic for Justin's car was given the build sheet for Texas about a week before the event. At that time the rules mandated that we run rear wheel backing plates and top deck filler panels at Texas and the car was built that way. A ruling came out on June 3rd about not allowing those two pieces. The communication between our Engineer on that car and the chief mechanic is where we fell down in this process and the car was built with both of these pieces in place.
"We went to tech four times before the race, Thursday pre event, Friday morning for some re-checks and Friday pre qualifying and Saturday pre-race. On the Thursday pre event tech, those two pieces were on the car per our build sheet and we were told the rear wheel backing plates were not allowed. We obliged and took them off before every turning a wheel and went back Friday morning for some re-checks. Tech did not say anything about the top inlet filler panels and they ended up being on all weekend. This does not make it right on anyone's part, but it was an honest oversight on our part from a build standpoint and honest mistake on Tech's part. The Tech team has lots of things to check on a car and things can get missed or each car would be in Tech for hours.
"It was spotted by Tech after the race and hence the penalty. The real issue is performance. The gain from a top infill panel without the big benefit of the backing plate is miniscule if at all. It is the backing plate that cleans up that whole area aerodynamically and those were always off. I believe this configuration was even tested at Fontana and made no difference in downforce or drag. Justin won that race on ability in an equal car to the rest of the field."
Respectfully, Dale Coyne
IndyCar told AR1.com:
Here’s when we tech cars:
· Set Up – We tech all cars
· Pre-Qualifying – We tech all cars
· Post-Qualifying – Top Four or Five Finishers and Cars at Random
· Pre-Race – We tech all cars
· Post-Race – We tech top five finishers and other selected cars.
Please note that items checked vary with each element of the weekend (certain things are teched at various times based on the status of the track – practice, quals, race).
06/11/12 IndyCar, the sanctioning body of the IZOD IndyCar Series, announced today penalties stemming from post-race technical inspection of the June 9 Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway.
The No. 18 car Dale Coyne Racing car driven by Justin Wilson was fined $7,500 and docked five entrant points for not complying with the sidepod top deck aerodynamic element of Rule 22.214.171.124.
126.96.36.199 Texas Aero Summary (Updated June 3, 2012 via bulletin)
The following parts may not be used at Texas Motor Speedway:
· Sidepod Top Deck IR1225195RH/LH - IR1202A031/32
The No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing car driven by Ed Carpenter was fined $5,000 and penalized one entrant point for not complying with Rule 188.8.131.52.
184.108.40.206. Texas Race Event (updated June 8, 2012 via bulletin)
A rear wing wicker up to a maximum of 1/8 inch height and full span may be used.
The members may contest the imposition of the penalties pursuant to the procedures and timelines detailed in the protest and appeal procedures of the IZOD IndyCar Series rulebook.