Chevrolet won 10 of the 16 Verizon IndyCar Series races held in 2016, making the automaker’s advantage over competing manufacturer Honda obvious. As a result, the race series has given Honda a break and will allow it to develop its packages for road, street and short oval courses in the off season.
As Autosport points out, IndyCar regulations allow for off-season development and upgrades if a performance disparity between the two manufacturers could be “detrimental” to the series. After testing both 2015 IndyCar champ Scott Dixon’s car and Honda driver Graham Rahal’s in the wind tunnel, IndyCar concluded Honda’s package created “significant hurdles” for teams in comparison to Chevrolet’s.
“The data indicated to us that for short ovals, street and road courses, the Honda kit was not competitive,” IndyCar CEO Mark Miles said. “However, for the superspeedways, we did not come to that same conclusion. We believe their kits are competitive.”
Honda now has the green light to develop and propose upgrades to its aero kit to “catch up,” to where the Chevrolet kit is. After more wind tunnel tests, Honda will find out if its proposed changes have been approved by the IndyCar Series board.