Wednesday, April 25, 2012

In Hot Pursuit of Cold Milk: A Look at the New IndyCar

In Hot Pursuit of Cold Milk: A Look at the New IndyCar:
In Hot Pursuit of Cold Milk: A Look at the New IndyCar
From the May 2012 issue of CAR and DRIVER magazine
After last year’s IndyCar debacle at Las Vegas resulting in a 15-car debris field and the death of two-time Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon, series organizers had no choice but to overhaul their sport. Fortunately, that process was already under way. Two years ago, a panel of experts began brainstorming a fresh IndyCar with improved safety, lowered cost, and heightened entertainment in mind.
Their recommendations have been implemented in a new spec Dallara DW12 chassis—developed by and named in honor of Dan Wheldon—with an improved driver safety cell, plus bodywork featuring side panels and rear enclosures aimed at preventing interlocked wheels during close-quarter competition. To significantly cut costs, the price of a chassis with bodywork has been reduced to $385,800 while a full-season engine lease now runs $690,000, yielding a 40-percent or so savings over the cost of fielding a 2011 IndyCar.
To heighten entertainment, the engine formula changes from a naturally aspirated spec Honda V-8 to more relevant turbocharged V-6s supplied by any car manufacturer interested in promoting its prowess. Thus far, Chevy, Honda, and Lotus are onboard to power the 2012 IndyCar show with technology that’s well on its way to becoming common road-car practice.
So, the 2012 IndyCar season will be a prime opportunity for contemporary street technology to prove that it’s finally worthy of America’s premier open-wheel series—in other words, the immortal trickle-down theory gets turned upside down. Beyond what’s sure to be a better Brickyard show, the hot pursuit of light, high-revving, potent V-6 engines also should advance the road-car cause.
In Hot Pursuit of Cold Milk: A Look at the New IndyCar

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