INDYCAR announced that Chevrolet and Honda will provide distinct aerodynamic configurations for the IndyCar Series chassis beginning in 2015.
As part of its long-range focus on innovation, INDYCAR announced in June that aerodynamic bodywork “kits” would be introduced and utilized for all 2015 races and include separate specifications for superspeedways and road/street/short ovals.
The bodywork components mated to the Dallara rolling chassis will provide INDYCAR a platform for performance and efficiency developments. Fans can look forward to cars with new, distinctive looks that are branded by the manufacturers. This is a significant element in a suite of technical changes that make the cars capable of achieving higher speeds.
“Aero kits will improve the diversity of the fan experience and renew technical engagement, while providing a controlled cost structure,” said Derrick Walker, INDYCAR president of competition and operations.
The forward-thinking program is relevant to short- and long-term design and development objectives of the global automotive industry and aligns with research and development in multiple technology sectors. Additionally, an entrant’s aero kits will be aligned with its manufacturer, with the car incorporating the name given by the supplier.
Beginning with 2016, additional engine manufacturers and/or third party vendors will be eligible to be an INDYCAR-approved supplier. Correspondingly, Chevrolet and Honda will be able to upgrade their aero kits, which will be approved through homologation.
"We are excited to be an IndyCar-approved supplier of an aero kit for our Chevrolet-powered teams beginning with the 2015 racing season,” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing's IndyCar Series program manager. “It is a unique situation in non-production based series to provide engines and aerodynamic body kits. This will allow Chevrolet to impact a wider bandwidth of car performance, which comes with increased responsibility to our teams to put them in a position to win. We are confident that our collective team of technical partners are capable, enabled and focused to succeed."
Added Honda Performance Development technical director Roger Griffiths: “We're looking forward to the introduction of aero kits in 2015. Along with continuing engine development, aero kits will provide another area for innovation and manufacturer competition. The introduction of bespoke bodywork from Honda and Chevrolet will provide fans with additional brand identification and that can only help IndyCar racing."
Examples of areas open for development by INDYCAR-approved aero configuration manufacturers include sidepods, engine cover and oval front wing main plane and end plates. Potential alterations to the car’s undertray in an effort to advance safety are under consideration. On-track testing begins Oct. 6, 2014, and closes Jan. 18, 2015.
Highlights of the regulations:
• No entrant may use more than two aero kits during a season. The 2012 Dallara aero kit is approved as one of the aero kits.
• Dallara will continue to supply a number of standard components that affect aerodynamic performance.
• For the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, an entrant may use more than one aero kit during practice sessions. The aero kits utilized in qualifications must be used in the race.
• Entrants will be charged no more than $75,000 per aero kit by the supplier, inclusive of all components, but excluding fasteners. A 2016 upgrade kit will cost no more than $15,000.
• Six days of pre-production testing have been approved, with each supplier using a maximum of two cars from entrants. Engine mileage accrued will not count against the entrants’ 10,000-mile-per-year allocation or engine count.
The aerodynamic platforms will complement engine manufacturer competition that returned to the IndyCar Series in 2012 following a six-year period in which Honda was the sole supplier.
For the 2014 season, both manufacturers will supply consumer-relevant 2.2-liter, twin turbocharged V6 engines using E85 fuel.