In a recent column for Motorsport.com, Chip Ganassi Racing and Team Chevy’s Scott Dixon called for a revision of IndyCar’s current aero kit rules, saying the current kits are creating downforce in the wrong way and pose a risk with their various tacked-on elements.
Dixon said that the aero kits were a “sizable move forward,” and that Chevrolet’s upgrades they have prepared for 2016, which are “coming in stages throughout the year,” will open the Dallara DW12 up to even more performance. However he also said that their cars could be faster if they went about making downforce in a different way.
“In terms of drivability, the cars aren’t bad and you adapt to whatever’s given to you,” Dixon wrote. “But in the interest of racing, I don’t think the rules can continue in this direction. All drivers want more grip and more power – we just want to go faster! – but in terms of balancing the two, I’d say the downforce is now too high for the amount of power we have.”
“It’s time to look at how the downforce is created. We need to get rid of top-surface pieces, because everything keeps getting bigger there, which makes the dirty air even more turbulent and that makes it harder for the car behind to even get close.” Right now, our diffuser is quite small, and the underwing of the car isn’t doing much because it’s got two giant holes in it. It’s used by the series to control the speed of the cars because it’s common to the Chevys and the Hondas.”
Dixon said the top elements used by manufacturers to make up for the lack of underwing downforce creates bad air, but is also hazardous to drivers and fans as well. The case for reducing debris as much as possible is easy to make in the wake of IndyCar driver Justin Wilson, who was killed at Pocono last year after being hit by a nosecone.
Drivers, Dixon included, feel as though the series would be better with more power, more underwing downforce and less surface aero pieces. Dixon acknowledges he and his peers are “just one piece of the puzzle,” and that IndyCar also has to keep Chevrolet and Honda happy, but we feel as though fans are right on board with him. Luckily, he says IndyCar’s new vice president of competition Bill Pappas has been “pretty proactive,” so we just might see significant changes sooner rather than later.