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The Verizon IndyCar Series is removing more items from its list of spec Dallara DW12 parts.
Leading into the 2017 season, IndyCar competition president Jay Frye and his team launched an initiative to convert some spec DW12 components to free and open for teams to produce on their own or through preferred vendors, and with testing set to begin in just over a month, more items have been identified.
"It's ongoing, and like what we did at the end of 2016 when we sent a survey to all teams to see what kind of parts they'd like to build on their own or have deregulated, we've done this again going into 2018," Frye told RACER. "They came back with a lot of good ideas, so we are evaluating the list and have already gone ahead with some items."
The key freedoms for the 2017 season included the ability for teams to manufacture new anti-roll bars (to achieve their desired handling results), suspension rocker arms, plumbing for the various fluids used throughout the car, cockpit and driver controls, bushings, spacers and other detail pieces.
With 2018 approaching, IndyCar has cracked the door open on more areas, and in some cases, the opportunity for teams to seek sponsorship and R&D contracts to develop new components in a racing environment could exist.
"One of the things we've signed off on is bearings," Frye continued. "Bearings, and bearing races, excluding upright and gearbox bearings, provided they are the same size and type as the original ones they're replacing. So that means teams, and some already have these relationships in other series where they compete, can work with a vendor to make new bearings for their cars or use one they happen to like. And if they can strike a business arrangement while doing that, it's the best of both worlds.
"Other things were still looking at are simple: brackets, suspension clevis, studs, rear shock shear plates, and there's a group of things like that we're talking through internally. They'll all be in the final rule book for next year, and we're about two-thirds done with it, I'd say."
On top of the new deregulated parts that will go into the rule book, Frye was waiting to complete Monday's all-drivers meeting in Indianapolis before solidifying a few competition changes his department has come up with.
"We have one more round of feedback to go through with the teams, and then we'll make the locked-in parts changes and go from there," he said. "And then on the other side, we've had 10 or 12 changes we wanted to present to the drivers to get their feedback on and weigh in with our own before we go forward in some of the racing changes we've been looking at. We're pushing to get everything done with the rules before the end of the month." Marshall Pruett/Racer