There’s no bigger or better event than the North American International Auto Show to make a major automotive announcement, which is why INDYCAR will unveil its sleek new 2018 race car during media day on Tuesday at the show in Detroit.
In a presentation that will stream live on IndyCar.com and on INDYCAR’s Facebook page beginning at 9:05 a.m. ET Tuesday, an all-star cast from the motorsports and automotive industries will gather to show off the universal aero kit that will make its competition debut this year in the 17-race Verizon IndyCar Series season that kicks off in March at St. Petersburg, Florida.
Josef Newgarden, who drove his way to the series championship last season, will be joined in introducing the new car on stage at Cobo Center by Roger Penske, automotive magnate and team owner for the car Newgarden drives; Mario Andretti, regarded as one of the greatest race car drivers of all time; INDYCAR executives Mark Miles and Jay Frye; and original equipment manufacturer executives from the series’ two manufacturers, Henio Arcangeli Jr. of American Honda Motor Co. and Mark Reuss from General Motors (representing Chevrolet).
INDYCAR undertook development of the universal aero kit nearly two years ago with the goals of improving what has already been incredibly intense and close racing in recent years and enhancing safety components on the car. All the while incorporating a bold, sleek racy look reminiscent of favorite Indy cars of the past. Mission accomplished.
Frye showed off the first conceptual drawings of the universal kit at NAIAS a year ago. Dallara Automobili, the Italian manufacturer that produces the IR-12 chassis used by INDYCAR since 2012, was named constructor of the universal aero kit in June. On-track testing guided by INDYCAR began in July and each team received its first kits before the end of the year so that private team testing could commence beginning last week.
Driver feedback has been overwhelmingly positive thus far. With less downforce generated than the previous aero kits, the new car brings driver skill and ability back to the forefront. Since most of the downforce is now generated from underneath the car, it doesn’t create as much of a wake of turbulent air behind it, which will allow trailing cars to more easily close up on the car ahead and attempt to pass. Braking distances into turns will also increase, thereby creating additional overtaking opportunities. The new kit is equipped with added on-car camera locations to bring television viewers even closer to the thrilling action.
Automotive media will get their first close look at INDYCAR’s universal aero kit at the Tuesday unveiling. Those who cannot attend should watch via the live stream to see that, as INDYCAR’s brand tagline for the year states, “The Future Starts Now.”