IndyCar test drivers like new car

UPDATE Nobody knows these cars better than Wheldon, the two-time Indy winner and 2005 points champ. Without a full-time ride this season, series officials hired the Englishman to do most of the tests. He's run on Indianapolis' road course, last week spent three days as the first driver on Indy's historic 2.5-mile oval in the new car and is convinced series officials and engineers got this car right.

"It feels good. It feels like you'd expect it to react and it feels like a race car around there," Wheldon said. "To be quick, you'll have to get the car down to the white line and up to the apex in the corner, but what I really like is how reactive it is."

"I think there will be quite a lot of testing and whoever it is will make sure it's reliable," Wheldon said last week. "I think that's what we achieved. It definitely requires a slightly different technique with the turbocharged engine. What's great about this is it will level the playing field."

"Drivability will be harder, so that will make drivers and teams work a lot harder to set up the car," Dixon said. "But if you miss it, you're going to miss it by more."

10/05/11 In this AP article, drivers have this to say about the new 2012 IndyCar:

"We've got a totally new package of technology, it's closer to what people use in their cars," Scott Dixon said after Tuesday's session at Mid-Ohio. "It's a lot lighter, it's more nimble and to me, it's more up-to-date."

"The seating is a big safety improvement," said Dixon, a New Zealand native. "There's 3 inches of foam surrounding the cockpit before you even put the seat in, so things like what happened with Justin Wilson at Mid-Ohio earlier this year, I think, will be eliminated and you won't have those big forces being pushed through the drivers."

"I like the turbochargers," said Will Power, an Aussie who drives for Team Penske. "When we ran them in Champ Car, you could really tell how much force you had on them and the sound is really cool."

One thing you won't hear drivers say is how good looking the car is with the Dallara bodywork. On the internet it's the laughing stock of motorsports. Those hideous bulges in front of the rear wheels have got to go.

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