Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The presentations are complete and the decision begins....RIGHT NOW! The 2012 IndyCar Chassis selection continues

The 2012 IndyCar Chassis presentations are officially over, and the decision now rests in the hands of the Eddie Gossage, Tony Cotman, Gil de Ferran, Brian Barnhart, Tony Purnell, Neil Ressler and Rick Long. Gen. William Looney III serves as the moderator of the group, this group won’t make THE decision, they will just recommend one to the League.

The interesting part of this process is that for the last three days, nine men have been sitting in the basement of the Brickyard Crossing, in the dual parlor rooms, hearing presentation after presentation. Jan Wesley Refsdal, President of Swift Engineering Inc, told me yesterday, that the presentation went great and they feel very good about where they stand. Did you know that the basis of all Swift Engineering designs for the 2012 IndyCar model started with the Formula Nippon model,(see picture below) an example of this model was sitting at the Brickyard Crossing yesterday. Personally, I think the Swift cars are very sexy looking cars.

(Swift's Formula Nippon pictured above)

I watched today as Dallara officials arrived in IMS SUV’s and the Delta Wing Racing team unloaded their model down by the practice putting greens at the Brickyard Crossing Golf Course.

It’s funny to me, the future of IndyCar was sitting in the basement of the Brickyard Crossing, and that they might already know which chassis they are going to select for 2012.

IndyCar Garage gives you a brief breakdown of each chassis and their odds of being selected.

Feel free to throw your money wagers out and see how they pay out.

(Sorry IndyCar Garage is not a gambling site, so you’ll have to find someone else to actually take your money)

(Pictures are below each chassis manufacture)

Dallara – Odds 3 to 1

Dallara has to be the favorite going into the 2012 chassis, based off several factors. First, the huge amount of safety data that has been collected over the course of their 13 year involvement with the Indy Racing League. Second, they plan to build a brand new manufacture building right on Main Street in Speedway, Indiana. Their new building would be in the heart of the Speedway Redevelopment plans. They have been the sole chassis supplier of the IZOD IndyCar Series since 2007. Dallara has produced images of three different types of futuristic 2012 cars.

Delta Wing Racing – Odds 5 to 1

The futuristic Delta Wing Race car was presented to the public back in February at the Chicago Auto Show. Delta Wing Racing is a product of Chip Ganassi and his chief engineer, Ben Bolby. The Delta Wing has the support of various team owners, not all, but most and it appears to be the most radical type of IndyCar since the late 1960’s. The problem with the Delta Wing is that there isn’t enough time to get a working model on the track before a decision is made on June 30th. The concepts for the Delta Wing, lower costs, and open opportunity for anyone to participate, is what makes it the most appealing, but the look of a non-traditional open wheel car, is what has turned man fans away from the Delta Wing.

Swift Engineering – Odds 6 to 1

Swift Engineering, in my opinion, has presented some of the sexiest, coolest, and unique looking cars for the 2012 chassis selection. Swift is based out of California, and that probably is their biggest problem. Most of the other manufacture groups have said they will build the car in Indianapolis, Indiana, most notable Dallara in Speedway, Indiana. Swift’s future designs include an open engine concept on some of their designs, and also a new lighting system that might be helpful with safety regulations in the wake of Mike Conway’s crash at the Indy 500. Check out all of the designs of Swift Engineering at http://www.swiftengineering.com/

Lola – Odds 7 to 1

Lola Race Cars have been involved with open wheel racing, as recently most in 2007 when they supplied the last year of Champ Car’s chassis. Lola also has won the Indy 500 three different times, as recently as 1990 with Arie Luyendyk. Lola is based out of England and has stated that they plan to build their cars in the state of Indiana, possibly Speedway, Indiana. Lola is also a personal favorite of legendary team owner, Roger Penske. The unique aspect about Lola’s design for 2012 is that the body styles for their proposed cars would be a dual body style so that Indy Lights teams could use them in the IZOD series. This would help lower costs for teams that wanted to field a one off for the Indy 500, but normally just participate in the Indy Lights Series.

(Lola's 1990 Indy 500 Winner pictured above)

BAT Engineering – Odds 15 to 1

If there was a long shot in the 2012 IndyCar chassis competition, it would have to be BAT Engineering. Composed of Bruce Ashmore, Alan Mertens and Tim Wardrop, hints the name. BAT was a late entry into the chassis proposal, and their concepts are the most radically next to the Delta Wing. BAT lacks safety data, and also experience, as they have yet to produce a car that has competed in any form of motor sports.(Correct me if I am wrong on that). It’s hard for me to believe that the league would go with an unknown chassis manufacture such as BAT, but in respect to the three men who formed BAT, good luck and no one should ever count out the long shot.


Anonymous said...

Great report, until the last paragraph. That one needs a bit of homework, mate.

Doesn't matter now, this decision isn't about odds or public debate. Never has been.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I think Lola's odds are a lot better than you think. They have the most experience of the bunch when it comes to building Indy cars that race on all circuits. Their name is iconic in the history of IndyCar, and that doesn't hurt either.

Besides, the Lola's big-ass tunnel inlets look cool!

Swift has got some fanboy buzz on the blogs, which never hurts, I guess. The league seems to be taking fan input into account. But the car looks expensive to wreck; not as practical as Lola's effort.

During the period where the builders received feedback from the league, Lola's design remained virtually unchanged, while Swift's #66 (their second attempt) had to be reworked. Reading the tea leaves, it (at least) looks like Lola's design was on the money from the get go.

I don't know what to think of Dallara. Those Dallara pictures are artist's concepts that they seemed to sort of slap together real quick when the Delta Wing group began their PR offensive. They've played their cards close to the vest.

Whatever. I'm good with anything but the DW or the BAT. Sorry BAT, but that car be fugly.

Mike said...

Panoz supplied the last year of CC, not Lola...

Anonymous said...

The A in BAT, Alan Mertens, manufactured the Galmer chassis which won the Indy 500 with Al Unser Jr driving!