Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Resolving the 2012 chassis and engine decision

As the decisions for the new car package is starting to loom, Bernard said he expects a decision to be made by June 30th, IndyCar Garage would like to make their suggestion on how the decision should be made.

As I played golf at the Brickyard Crossing yesterday afternoon,(the Speedway looked like there hadn’t been 300,000 fans there two days ago, seriously it didn’t) it dawned on me, there needs to be different types of cars in IndyCar racing, especially in the IZOD IndyCar Series. I know, I know, everyone is saying this, but it dawned on me that there might be a solution that allows for different style of cars, but with one sole chassis manufacturer.

On the engine front, it’s a forgone conclusion that if the series doesn’t introduce multiple manufactures in 2012, they will never get corporate sponsors like NASCAR, and in turn never get NASCAR drivers (AMERICAN DRIVERS) to participate in IndyCar racing. Before you think to far, let me go on the record and say that I am not a huge fan of NASCAR racing, but I do think some of the drivers in NASCAR would have came to open wheel if the opportunities had been there. I think it would be nice and attractive to open those open wheel doors again if the NASCAR drivers want the chance to walk through them, because they weren’t open in the split years. Now, back to the chassis decision that is looming, IndyCar Garage breaks down the steps of how we get different style cars with one chassis manufacturer.

Step # 1 – Select a chassis manufacture that has came out with multiple designs for what the 2012 car should look like.

This eliminates the Delta Wing, which not surprisingly hasn’t impressed enough of the fan base to be even considered an IndyCar type race. This keeps Dallara, Swift, Lola, and BAT still in the race.

Step # 2 – Look at the four remaining manufactures and tell them…..

Tell your manufacture that you need them to build all of their designs if they are selected, and all of them need to be the same costs. This puts three different types of Dallara’s, I think four different types of Swift’s, two Lola’s, and two BAT concepts. Then tell them that the basic car tub, needs to be universal between all of their designs. We now have a basic tub for the car, but with multiple ways of designing the car.

Step # 3 – Tell the manufacture that you selected, all accessory parts for the multiple designs are on a level cost.

The tub has a universal cost and then break down all of the accessory parts for each designs, so if for example Dallara has three different designs, uniform the different parts so that they cost the same. So you have part A on the yellow Dallara, and part A on the red Dallara, make sure they cost the same amount. Part B on the maroon Dallara, and part B on the red Dallara, they should cost the same. You get the idea? Then teams that have to repair the yellow Dallara and red Dallara, pay the same repair costs.

Step # 4 – Tell the manufacture that you selected, that they need to build the new cars in Speedway, Indiana.

Speedway, Indiana is in the beginning stages of a massive Redevelopment project that includes overhauling main street, which is located directly southwest from turn one. Main Street is home to the famous pancake house, Charlie Browns, which is frequently visited by A.J. Foyt, and also new restaurant Dawsons on Main. The benefit of building it on main street, is that it gives main street an anchor in their redevelopment project, allows for Indianapolis based teams to have quick and local access to the manufacture, gives fans a up close look at how IndyCars are built, and allows for educational opportunities to be enhanced through local colleges that want to be involved in technology around motor racing.
Step # 5 – (Probably the most important) Establish a cap on costs to level the playing field.

Costs are dramatically out of control in IndyCar racing today, and they need to be lowered to allow more teams to participate. They also need to be lowered so that drivers can now be hired on merit and not on how much money they bring with them with on sponsors. Drivers such as Graham Rahal and soon to be Ryan Hunter-Reay are about to be on the sideline , due in part because their teams can’t afford to run them because they don’t bring sponsorship money with them.

Step # 6 – The conclusion

If these steps could be implemented, then maybe we have multiple style cars, multiple engine manufacture’s, multiple corporate sponsors, and of course the return of IndyCar racing to the national stage! All in all, this is probably a pipe dream, but hey , we all can hope can’t we?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I feel like the designers could make a safer car by protecting the wheels, without adding fenders. It takes two cars to tangle and create an issue. Couldn't they just reinforce/expand the front wing to prevent the front wheels from being able to to reach the exposed backsides of the wheels?
One of Dallara's options is more similar to Delta Wing than people take notice of ..... finally.... I vote Delta Wing if they pull the front wheels apart ever so slightly, and ENSURE multiple engine manufacturers are involved. The innovation would work if and only if powerplant became and opportunity to differentiate.