Following the announcement that the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series will revert back to a single bodywork kit, the initial concepts on what the cars may look like have been unveiled at the North American International Auto Show.
Whereas the final kit will look different, the display shows the direction the design is heading, and as such it should be liked by those in the know, most notably the series’ fan base.
The current Dallara IR-12 chassis is to be retained, with Jay Frye, the INDYCAR president of competition and operations revealing that the aim is to have another public update following the pre-season open test at Phoenix International Raceway on February 10-11, while the ultimate goal is to have a car built with the bodywork kit to be displayed trackside during the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 at the end of May 2017.
Testing of the new bodywork kit is then planned to begin during the summer of 2017, before it makes its on-track race debut at the beginning of 2018.
2016 Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi admits to being encouraged by the revelations of the new bodywork kit, and believes it could achieve its aim of improving the racing in the championship.
“I like how prominent the floor is because that means, like they’ve discussed, the bottom-side downforce will be a priority,” said Rossi.
“When we’re trying to follow closely, you get to this point where the racing kind of seems stagnant because nobody is really getting closer [to each other]. It’s because the car behind us is so affected [by turbulence from the car in front] because they are going over the top of it.
“When you’re relying on downforce coming from the bottom, you’re not affected by turbulence or dirty air because it’s irrelevant the state that the air is in when it hits the floor. So that part is massively encouraging.
“And I mean, beyond that, I think it looks awesome. It takes us back to kind of the glory days, which is the direction the sport is heading, and this is a huge step in going in the right direction. Big hats off to the team for what they’ve come up with. It looks like a real race car.”