Not long ago, we told you Chevrolet had submitted its new IndyCar aero kit design to be approved by series officials before the season’s start. It looks as though IndyCar staffers gave their design the green light, as Chevrolet officially debuted their new road course/short oval body design today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The new aerokits are a first for IndyCar and will improve the cars’ downforce, allowing for higher corner entry and exit speeds than the standard Dallara DW12 bodies used last season. The kits consist of redesigned front wing elements with special pedestal “uppers”, sculpted wheel edges and side pods, a multi-element rear wing and larger rear pods. The speedway aero configuration for high speed ovals has yet to be revealed, but is scheduled for a debut ahead of the Indianapolis 500 in May.
The aerokits were developed in nine key phases, Chevrolet says. They started by conducting a baseline analysis of the DW12’s aerodynamics and established clear design goals for the kit. They then used CAD software to develop a design concept, analyzed the potential structural properties and tested them using computational fluid dynamics. The next step was 3D printing some of the parts and testing a 50-percent scale model in a wind tunnel. They were able to conduct a full-scale wind tunnel test once they had a finalized design for the kit.
Chevrolet’s revised IndyCars, complete with their all-new aero kits, will make their debut at the first race of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar season, the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in Florida on March 27-29.