(Originally posted by Paul to Planet-IRL.com.)
More images from the proposed Dallara designs are coming forth. Below are additional images of all three designs. With the additional angles available, I’m starting to like design 2 more and more. (Crap — I think that means that Steph and I might be close to agreeing! One of us is going to have to change our opinion, now…)
In addition to the new images, Dallara has also released more details about the production and costs of the new proposed chassis. Yesterday, the Indy Racing League announced that any chassis selected would have to be built in the United States, preferably within the state of Indiana. Dallara has gone one step better and confirmed that a new Dallara chassis would be built in the United States and potentially in the city of Speedway, presumably giving a much-needed tax boost to that struggling community. How many direct jobs it would bring to the area is unknown at this time, but there are no doubt a lot of good engineers with racing experience to be found.
Of more direct concern for the teams are some of the other items put forth in Dallara’s announcement. The costs of the new chassis is expected to be reduced by 45%, and given that it will be American-made, the purchase price of the chassis and spare parts will no longer be subject to fluctuations in the US dollar. Being Indianapolis-based also means that parts should be more readily available as most teams will only have a 10-15 minute drive to the point of manufacture.
Aside from the price reductions, Dallara also claims this model will be a “much lighter, more efficient car with less drag and more downforce.” Now, the current model IZOD IndyCar Series car has never been known for its lack of downforce, so putting more downforce in the car seems like a peculiar tactic, especially as Dallara claims the need for a less-powerful engine. From a safety standpoint, Dallara says the new cars have “been improved with increased resistance to frontal lift and improved yaw stability. Improved raceability also has been addressed in the design with less sensitive aerodynamics in traffic for better overtaking and the reduced incidence of wheel-to-wheel contact.” Hopefully this means we won’t see the blow-over issues that we had with the current-model Dallara in 2003 and 2004. (To be fair, there have been significantly fewer blow-over accidents since the introduction of the vertical “spine” wicker in 2005 and other modifications mandated by the IRL in 2004 and 2005.)
We eagerly await more information on 2012 concept cars in the coming days. Of course, we know that DeltaWing is presenting their car next week at the Chicago Auto Show, and reports are coming from Swift that they will also unveil their design for the next-generation IZOD IndyCar Series car at some point next week.
Dallara Concept 1
Dallara Concept 2
Dallara Concept 3