IRL cars to run ‘parachutes’ at Daytona

This Indy Star article talks about how Daytona was too dangerous for Indy Cars because of the transition between the turns and the straights.

Ordinarily, Indy cars could reach 230 mph on such an oval track, but in this case the cars will be equipped with larger wings that will reduce speeds in the faster sections but increase them in the slower infield section. Wings act much like cars pulling parachutes, adding air drag. In this case, the extra resistance equates to about 2,500 pounds.

Hence, the 185 mph limit. [Editor's Note: 100% throttle steep banking driving requires zero driver skill.]

"They'll be flat (on the accelerator), easy, coming off the fourth corner," Ganassi Racing engineer Mitch Davis said of the drivers. "With those wings, the IRL can make the cars as fast or as slow as they want them.

"This should be just about right, but that's what the test is for."

The 31-degree banking will be the steepest Indy cars have faced since 1959, seven degrees more than Texas Motor Speedway and 11 degrees more than Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway's corners are banked at nine degrees.
IRL officials will use the next two days as a precursor to at least a winter testing program in the future. But if all goes well and track officials agree, Indy cars could have a road course race at the facility as early as the 2008 season.

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