For the first time in a long time, it was a busy weekend for Verizon IndyCar Series teams.
Teams aligned with either Chevrolet or Honda have taken delivery of the initial corresponding road/street course and short oval aerodynamic bodywork kits that will debut in competition in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 29 (3 p.m. ET, ABC).
Like others, CFH Racing personnel were split into Saturday and Sunday groups “to move things along,” according to team general manager Tim Broyles.
In addition to performance gains, the aero kit program will distinguish one manufacturer’s approach to the other on the racetrack.
“A lot of times when you just have the customer car, it rolls in the door and a lot of the engineering part has already been done. This kind of goes back to pre-2012 when you got your cars and went through everything front to back and made everything fit really nice,” Broyles said.
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Following the Oct. 6-Jan. 18 manufacturer on-track test span, components were submitted to INDYCAR for homologation (the manufacturers’ final work for the season). March 1 was the deadline for supplying teams with the road/street course and short oval package, and they’ll receive the speedway package April 1.
“In the past you’ve had the whole winter to go back and do all the body fit work and it’s being condensed into about 10 days before we have to have trucks loaded for our first test.”
The window for team testing with aero kits opens March 13, and many teams will be on track either at NOLA Motorsports Park, Texas Motor Speedway or Sebring International Raceway ahead of the March 16-17 sessions at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.
“There will be a lot of lists and notes,” Broyles added. “We feel like Chevy has done a great job of aero mapping the car and giving us some really good tools to work with, and that gives us a good starting point.
“There will still be a lot to learn for the drivers, whether they have to adjust their style or just the way the car feels so there will be a lot of work over the next few weeks for crews, engineers and drivers across the whole series.”
Testing continues the following week at NOLA and Sebring before the March 27 Promoter Day on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn St. Petersburg street circuit. Practice and qualifying are March 28.