IndyCar has made some precautionary changes to rules pertaining to aero kits as the series heads to Texas Motor Speedway for the second oval race of 2015. The changes were made following three similar crashes at the Indianapolis 500 which saw cars go airborne and flip, but even with the changes, Chevrolet says there’s “no magic fix that’s going to ever prevent it from happening.”
According to Autosport, the series will force both Chevrolet and Honda teams to use new closure guards on the rear wheels and set a rear wing angle of 6 to -10.5 for Texas, giving the cars more downforce than they had in Texas last year. These changes were made after Honda, Chevy and IndyCar chassis manufacturer Dallara began working together to isolate the factors which caused crashes like Helio Castroneves’.
Dallara, Chevy and Honda all believe the changes implemented for Texas will help curb any potential flips or rollovers, it isn’t a sure fire fix. Chevrolet IndyCar program manager Chris Berube told Autosport “crash dynamics are very transient and very difficult to model,” and noted there are a million possible factors in any given wreck.
The rules pertaining to the new aero kits specified they must provide equal or greater amounts of stability during a normal spin, but didn’t have guidelines mentioning stability when travelling backwards. IndyCar president Derrick Walker said he doesn’t think there has “ever been a car,” asked to deal with such a scenario.
“The rules never specified that you have to go backwards at 200mph with your gearbox three-and-a-half degrees, or 10 degrees, in the air, and [have the car] stay on the ground,” Walker said.
“I don’t think there’s been a car that has ever been asked to do that.”
The first race for the slightly revised aero kits, the Firestone 600 at Texas, will go green on June 6 at 8:00 p.m.