New IndyCar a dud? UPDATE Will Phillips, IndyCar's VP of Technology tells SPEED.com, “The car isn’t going as fast as we wanted or expected and we’re trying to identify why."
In Speedway trim, the 2012 Dallara suffers from a few different issues that the series is working to resolve before the mid-December delivery date.
The immediate concern is the disappointing performance of the Dallara at the Speedway last week, where Dario Franchitti and Kanaan tested for two days.
And, while the top speeds were only between 208-216 mph for either the Honda or Chevy-powered drivers, it was more a product of the car’s handling than a question of power.
“The focus of concern is with weight distribution,” said Will Phillips, vice president of technology for the IZOD IndyCar Series and the midwife of the first new car in a decade for this series.
“The car is too good on entry and suffers understeer on [corner] exit and it’s the same complaint from Dario and Tony that Dan [Wheldon] gave us after the first test.
“So the car isn’t going as fast as we wanted or expected and we’re trying to identify why the theoretical world doesn’t match real world at the race track. At very high speeds, we have disparity in the data.” 11/09/11 As we pointed out in this article, the new IndyCar is not only ugly, it exposes the driver's head more than the old car, and in light of the fatal blow to Dan Wheldon's head in Las Vegas, we questioned whether the new car needs a major overhaul already, or a canopy added. Then comes this in Today's Robin Miller mailbag on Speedtv.com:
Q: Word in the paddock is that the DW12 chassis has "huge" aero issues -- the Honda and Chevy only reached 209 to 214 last week at Indy -- and that the Honda engine is currently capable of only very short runs due to an overheating issue. The engineers called Dario in repeatedly after only a few laps at a time. I'm confident Honda will sort out the overheating issue pretty quickly. I'm not as confident that the chassis' current aero kit is getting it done. For the weight and HP, the car should easily be reaching 228 at this stage, even before trimming it out for May. What are you hearing? Big Mo, Centerville Ohio
Miller: Those are the speeds I heard and not sure if motor or chassis (or both) is the reason but nobody is talking right now. Honda has definitely had some teething problems but not sure if it's tied to the ECU or what. But that's why we have testing and they'll get it sorted.