The 2018 Dallara aero kit hit the track for the first time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday, a day after the first photographs were released.
After 2017, the Honda and Chevrolet aero kits will be discontinued in favour of one kit made by Dallara, and Juan Pablo Montoya and Oriol Servia have been tasked with testing the kit, which is far lighter than its predecessors, with the weight distribution moved forward as requested by drivers.
The rear wheel guards have been removed, as have some of the winglets, while the engine cover and rear wing endplates have been lowered, with Dallara aiming to recreate the look of early 1990’s IndyCars.
The LED display system has been updated to benefit fans with more content, with the current system showing where drivers are on the road as well as pit stop times and push-to-pass notifications, while additional camera positions also being added to the car.
Safety has also been a major feature of the new car, with additional side impact protection, with the structure around the drivers’ hips around eight to ten inches wider than previously, while the top of the sidepod has been designed to pass the FIA side impact tests.
The front wings are smaller and with fewer elements, meaning that in incidents there is likely to be less debris, while the car has been designed to ensure the car does not go airborne in spins at 90, 135 or 180 degrees yaw.
“The process started a year ago April, and we took the input of our fans, drivers, teams, manufacturers, partners – everyone shares in this,” said Jay Frye, president of IndyCar competition and operations. “There is a historical component to this design, and it comes with a very forward look and all the latest components.
“Although the design looked good on paper it looks even better in person. We couldn’t be more excited to get this car on the track.”
Montoya took to the track for the first time with the Chevrolet-powered car, while Servia drove the Honda-powered car, around the 2.5-mile oval on Tuesday, the first of a number of test days between now and the end of 2017 before the full introduction of the Dallara aero kit next season.
“2017 marks our 20th year in INDYCAR and we are glad that we can keep contributing to the great success that this series deserves,” said Giampaolo Dallara, founder and president of Dallara Automobili.
“We have been working with the series’ organization and the teams to reach this shared goal, and this day represents an extraordinary step forward to achieve it.”