Dallara was the first to reveal their prototypes last week in an announcement on February 5. Their chassis, which bare some similarities in appearance to CART’s chassis of the 90’s, will reportedly be constructed in the United States, specifically in Indiana.
The new Dallara is slated to be much lighter and more efficient, with less drag and increased downforce. Additionally, a reduction in horsepower will increase fuel efficiency.
Safety and competition have also been addressed, with the prototype being more resistant to frontal lift and including improved yaw stability, while it is also less susceptible to “dirty air” in traffic.
The new Dallara Indy car will be built in Speedway, Indiana and it will set new standards in terms of safety, fuel efficiency, raceability, technology performance and cost containment. We can achieve all of these objectives. Dallara as a company, a trusted, credible, stable and loyal partner for the Indy Racing League for the past twelve years, commits to support, service and develop this new car by locating a dedicated facility near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” said Mr. Dallara, owner of the Italian manufacturer.
Swift Engineering Inc., which produced a CART chassis during the late 90’s, has also thrown its name into the hat, with their own design for the 2012 car.
"Given Swift is the leading US race car design and manufacturing company and our 27-year history was founded in motorsport, it is only natural that we aspire to partner with the nations' premier open-wheel formula, the IZOD IndyCar Series," Jan Wesley Refsdal, Swift's president said.
Their design and statement focused greatly on aerodynamics, putting an emphasis and the designs seen during the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s.
"Our goal is no less than for the 100th anniversary of the Indy 500 to be run exclusively with Swift chassis. We are very proud to release some of our conceptual designs today that were developed specifically for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series program," Casper Van der Schoot, Swift's director of motorsports said. "IndyCar fans love to see the
engines and mechanical bits normally shielded behind bodywork. These concepts incorporate retro-styling cues that harkens to the 50s, 60s and 70s IndyCar eras. Our wind tunnel tests have shown the engine cover has very little effect on aerodynamics compared to most other components on the car. We saw an opportunity to showcase the engine and other 'jewelry' while preserving efficiency with a much smaller fairing."
Lola, once a dominant force in Open Wheel Racing, released a statement, but no photographs, regarding their proposal to the IRL There concept features two distinct designs that could be utilized together during a given race, creating a “competition” of sorts between chassis.
Weighing 1,380 pounds, the Lola focuses on safety, efficiency, engine adaptability, aesthetics, and overtaking, hoping to improve all areas.
Lola's history in US racing stretches back to 1965 and includes three Indy 500 wins, Can Am, Sports Car and Champ Car title successes. It is upon this framework of heritage combined today with Lola's state of the art technical capabilities that ensures the company continues to be perfectly positioned to enter a new era and add another chapter to this already fascinating and inspiring partnership, “ said Lola Cars Managing Director, Robin Brundle
He continued "We have worked closely and methodically to understand the needs of the IRL Board, the fans and the teams while remaining aligned and sensitive to the challenging commercial needs of all stakeholders. For Lola it is also very important that the fans enjoy the cars and receive a great spectacle both trackside and on TV.”
One more positive aspect is the knowledge the Lola's tub and front nose would be the same both the Firestone Indy Lights and Izod IndyCar Series, making it significantly easier for Firestone Indy Lights teams to jump up into the Izod IndyCar Series. With the only alteration being a bodykit for the sidepods, the finances behind such a jump would be reduced dramatically.
By far, though, the most radical of the new designs comes from the Delta Wing Group, spurred by multiple IndyCar owners who sought out Ben Bowlby, former Lola engineer and current employee of Chip Ganassi Racing, to design a prototype of their own.
A revolution indeed, the Delta Wing concept has similar aesthetics with an NHRA dragster rather than a current, or past, IndyCar. “Looking radical was never the objective – the Delta Wing shape is simply the outcome of addressing performance targets,” said Bowlby in an interview with Speedtv’s Robin Miller. “It’s an integrated approach. It’s not JUST the car. It’s the technology, spectator and industry appeal and engagement, combined with the car. What we have proposed for the car is not a styling exercise…. Form has followed function.”
The narrow shape front nose, with wheels mostly hidden within the bodywork came when the first decided to move the front wheels closer to the chassis. Said Bowlby “Everything started to fall into place and the car had the look of a single seater aircraft – hence the name (although I didn’t come up with that).”
One other glaring aspect of the car is decided lack of wings. “Wings are fragile, expensive, draggy and very turbulence sensitive. The geometry (shape) of this car’s bodywork and aero behavior is designed to allow better overtaking and closer racing,” explained Bowlby.
With costs a big issue for team owners, Bowlby’s design would introduce aerodynamics that could be alter by adjusting the height of the rear wicker, which could be done with only $10 worth of Aluminum.
As horsepower goes, it would produce only around 300 bhp, which Bowlby says will be plenty. “It’s a function of drag and mass. This car will out accelerate a current Indy car and run 230 or 235 mph on 300 HP - if it had 500 HP it would run 270 mph around Indy! Today’s Indy car is an aerodynamic brick with a huge engine that spends its life burning fuel and components - it just shows how inefficient they are! That’s not surprising because for decades the regulations have mandated inefficiency as a way of controlling speed. Every significant efficiency improvement has been outlawed, whether it’s sliding skirts, active suspension or ground effects,” he explained.
Geplaatst 02-10-2010, 09:56 pm
Gewijzigd 02-18-2010, 04:41 am
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