Today’s question: Nearly every driver after their first NTT INDYCAR SERIES test comments about the force needed to turn the wheel in these cars, which don’t have power steering, unlike nearly every other major racing series in the world. Should NTT INDYCAR SERIES cars have power steering?
Curt Cavin: This is a difficult one for me to answer because I’ve never driven an Indy car. It seems like I should support the absence of power steering, but is that a skill set that helps define a driver and showcase his talent? I’m not sure.
Zach Horrall: No way! The lack of power steering is what makes these cars true beasts, and I think that’s what separates the NTT INDYCAR SERIES from other racing series the most. Sure, INDYCAR has an extremely diverse schedule and the competition is unparalleled, but the lack of power steering is something few other racing series can say their cars feature. It forces these drivers to be extremely conditioned athletes, and it means you truly have some of the best drivers in the world. Whether drivers come over from NASCAR, F1 or beyond, the lack of power steering is what challenges them the most and what gives the most credence to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES being a true “drivers” series.
Paul Kelly: No. Or maybe I can make that more clear: Hell, no. As Zach said, the lack of power steering is arguably what leads these cars to be called “beasts” by drivers. Why would anyone want to tame that badassery? I can only chuckle when I hear some sports talking heads and read ignorant social media chatter claiming that race drivers aren’t athletes. I challenge any of those fools to try wrestling a high-downforce, high-powered INDYCAR SERIES car without power steering around a bumpy street circuit on a hot August day, like this year in Nashville. Their arms would be limp pasta noodles within two laps, guaranteed. Just look a picture of Jimmie Johnson in a polo shirt during his last year in the NASCAR Cup Series, with its cars with power steering, and during his rookie season in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in 2021. His upper body was downright huge compared to 2020, and that’s because INDYCAR drivers need to be that strong to handle these mechanical animals.