IZOD IndyCar Series technical director Kevin Blanch has effectively utilized the Dallara Automobili facility near the INDYCAR office in the off-season to lay the groundwork for technical rules in the 2013 rulebook.
“With delivery of the new car last Dec. 15 and all the testing, it’s given me an opportunity to check and verify procedures,” Blanch said of the Dallara chassis introduced for the 2012 season. “We had about two months to update what we had built over eight years to fit the old car.
“We approached the 2012 season as what were the most important things we needed to check, and then we prioritized items and worked through all that until we went racing. Then you’re racing back to back to back and there wasn’t much time to develop the tech pad. So, just like the teams over the winter are developing the car, we’re developing the tech pad to get back to where we used to be.”
About 175 measurements and dimensional checks are conducted the first time a car goes through technical inspection during a race weekend – all in about 12 minutes. Additional checks are performed pre-qualifying and pre-race, plus spot checks following qualifications and the race.
“Being able to work here where there is a fab shop and machine shop and engineers has been a big help,” Blanch said. “I’ve put the car on the tech pad and have played out different scenarios and have tried different ways to inspect items. I’ve talked to teams a number of times about what we’re thinking of doing, and they’re good about saying what they think needs to take place but here’s what you need to be looking for if somebody will take it to the next level.”
Blanch said it was a fine line to walk in the first year of the chassis-engine package.
“What you’re looking for today is if we have a written rule and the car is outside that written rule why is it outside of that written rule?” he said. “Is it because of a geometry setting that made the car illegal? If they put a spacer in it then they are in the wrong. As long as they have the stock parts on, then we have to make the rules fit.”
Car dimensions for 2013
Road and street course / short oval - The overall length of the car is 203.94 inches +/- 0.250 inches.
Speedway – The overall length of the car is 197.335 inches +/- 0.250 inches.
The maximum wheelbase is 121.500 inches and minimum is 117.500 inches.
The wheelbase of the car, left to right, may have a maximum variance of 0.750 inch.
Track width (measured at axle center line):
Oval events – Front and rear are limited to a minimum of 75.750 inches and a maximum of 76.750 inches.
Road and Street events -- Front and rear are limited to a minimum of 75.500 inches and a maximum of 76.500 inches.
Oval events – The car can be between .150 inches off center to the left or 0.600 inch off center to the right.
Road and street events – A maximum of +/- 0.250 inches permitted left or right of center.