Dallara DW12 to remain spec IndyCar chassis till 2021
As reported on RACER.com, the spec Dallara DW12 chassis will be used through the 2020 Verizon IndyCar Series season and could be replaced by an all-new chassis the following year.
The DW12 has been raced since the start of the 2012 season, Dallara winning the contract to supply the chassis to the single spec IndyCar series.
Using the aero kits supplied by the Italian racing car manufacturer, the chassis remained virtually unchanged for the first three years although it was updated during its first season following lessons learnt following a pair of crashes involving Sebastien Bourdais at Sonoma and Justin Wilson at Fontana. The biggest change, though, was in 2015 when the supply of aero kits was opened up “amid a blizzard of flick-ups, cascades and cliches,” as Simon Marshall described it in his article in the August issue of Race Tech (189).
Only Chevrolet and Honda took up the challenge to supply these kits – other potential suppliers being put off by the cost of developing them versus the IndyCar cost cap, but it proved to be a controversial decision due to the fact that the designs were frozen after a time, leading to the Honda teams being disadvantaged due to the inferior aero kits. These kits with some modifications will be retained for 2017 but then a new universal aero kit that will be used by every team will be introduced for 2018. It will last until 2020 thereby laying the ground for a three-year period of stability and making the series more appealing for a new manufacturer to enter. In the interim period, though, IndyCar will be further investigating a closed canopy that could yet be introduced.
“If you look at it in years, in 2017 the kits are frozen, and then there will be another programme in 2018, 2019, and 2020 with the universal kit, so in 2021, you could do something drastically different with the chassis,” IndyCar president of competition Jan Frye told RACER.
“One of the main goals of this programme is to get another [engine manufacturer] to come in, and with the new universal kits on the way – it helps that initiative, and at the same time, we want everyone in our paddock to have a decent period of time with the universal bodywork before we make another change, so 2021 would be the next window for something that’s possible on the chassis side.