IndyCar release new images of 2018 IndyCar design
IndyCar has released new images of the universal aerodynamic bodywork kit that will be used by all competitors in 2018, providing more detail than concept sketches released in January.
According toTino Belli, IndyCar’s director of aerodynamic development, the kit has been successfully reverse-designed to start with its desired appearance and build in functionality from there. A key component of the new car is for it to generate most of its downforce from underneath instead of on top. This will improve racing and passing opportunities by decreasing the turbulent air that the Indy car leaves in its wake.
Teams will still choose between Chevrolet and Honda engines for competition next season, but all cars will be outfitted with the universal kit that covers the Dallara IR-12 chassis that has been used since the 2012 season. As with the current aero kits provided by Chevrolet and Honda through the end of this season, the universal car will come in two configurations: one for superspeedway ovals and the other for street courses, road courses and short ovals. The supplier has yet to be announced.
“We’re working on creating more of the downforce from the underwing,” said Belli. “The hole in the floor of the undertray on this year’s car will be sealed for the road courses and short ovals, but will still be open for the superspeedways.”
Belli added that simulations show the new car meets IndyCar’s aerodynamic targets and additional safety enhancements include side impact structures in the sidepods and repositioned radiators to assist in reducing the severity of side impacts by crushing on impact.
Other noticeable features in the new car images include a lower engine cover that provides “a more traditional Indy car look,” according to Belli. Turbocharger inlets are moving to the inside of the radiator inlet ducts.
The rear wing and front wing main plane are smaller in the new car look and the centreline wicker from the nose of the car to the cockpit is tapered. The rear wing in the road course/short oval configuration is lower and wider. The fins on the leading edge of the sidepods of the current car will be removed or minimised on the 2018 car.
Though there is still work to be done, Belli feels that IndyCar has achieved “97 per cent” of its goals when it set out to create the new car’s look and efficiency.
“While this remains a work in progress, we are encouraged with where the development of the 2018 car stands,” said Jay Frye, IndyCar president of competition and operations. “The look of the car is bold, the performance data from simulations is meeting targeted goals and safety enhancements built into the design will be substantial.”
Frye said IndyCar is on target to begin testing the car by mid-summer.