Welcome to the Robin Miller Mailbag as presented by Honda Racing / HPD. You can follow the Santa Clarita, California-based company at http://hpd.honda.com/ and on social media at @HondaRacing_HPD and https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD .
Your questions for Robin should continue to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org We cannot guarantee we’ll publish all your questions and answers, but Robin will reply to you. And if you have a question about the technology side of racing, Robin will pass these on to Marshall Pruett and he will also answer here.
Q: All signs are that IndyCar’s ratings on TV are pointing up. The ratings on NBCSN for Sonoma showed an average of 840,000+ viewers, and near the end over 1,000,000 “unique viewers” (people, I’m assuming) watched the race. Now, though the ratings improvements are great, I think they can be better. Is there any chance with the current or future TV contract to show some of NBCSN’s races on NBC, sort of like what NASCAR does?
NASCAR averages roughly three million viewers for their races on NBCSN, yet their Darlington race on NBC averaged over six million viewers, doubling their cable viewership. If IndyCar worked out a way to share these races between NBCSN and NBC (because strictly NBC seems a little far-fetched), whichever races put on NBC would almost certainly have more viewers. Imagine if Sonoma averaged over 1.5 million people, just because NBC and IndyCar put the race onto the big network. Am I right, or is something like this with NBC even possible? Thanks for reading a question from a high school sophomore, also.
Colin, Knox, IN
RM: First off, thanks for writing, we need more young fans. Mark Miles has been working to get a couple of IndyCar races on NBC next year and it sounds like he’s making progress in ending ABC’s exclusivity. But the trick is finding a spot for them with all the NASCAR, golf and Summer Olympics. NBC picks up NASCAR at Daytona on July 4th and the Olympics run Aug. 5-21 plus Rallycross already has a couple of June and July dates booked. It won’t be easy, but Miles understands the importance and it’s one of his priorities.
Q: Is the 2016 schedule still planning to come out at the end of September? How does the car count look for next year? Is Grace Autosport going to do more races? Will Byrd do more races? What will AFS Racing do? What is the latest on Milwaukee?
RM: That’s when Miles would like to announce it but he’s not going to do it until all the races are signed up, so I doubt it. Milwaukee needs a promoter. Too early for any car count predictions. I think Grace Autosport’s Beth Peretta would like to get Indianapolis under their belt and then see what other possibilities exist. I think Byrd wants to run a couple of ovals other than Indy if possible. Gary Peterson has been super-loyal to Sebastian Saavedra and they had some good runs for Ganassi this season, so maybe they’ll expand on that relationship.
Q: Gazing at Mark Miles’ 2016 schedule, there is the large gap at the start of the season and three that are back to back. I guess I am looking for something to gripe about, but I’m hoping Pocono makes it to the schedule as proposed: two years on the same weekend might build some momentum. It is starting to look better than the abbreviated season we just went through. Is Josef/CFH a done deal, is Newgarden keeping his options open, or are they waiting on Wink [Hartman] to make a commitment? My wife and I would like to see him stay with Sarah [Fisher] and Wink, but I think he would be a great fit at RLL. Did the disparity in aero kits play any role in the fading talks? Only five more months until the new season.
Dino from New Hanover, PA
RM: Pocono is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 22 but it hasn’t been confirmed by president Brandon Igdalsky, so it’s still 50/50 in my mind. The proposed schedule we ran last week on RACER.com has much better spacing for the teams but maybe too big a gap in August. Had dinner with JoNew last week and we never discussed his status, but he tested with CFH at Elkhart Lake yesterday and I think that’s where he’ll be in 2016. RLL made it clear they needed a sponsor or Honda help to run a second car for Newgarden.
Q: I read your article on the tentative IndyCar schedule and I really hope that Michigan can be on it. I figure it might be a long shot with how close the date would probably be to the NASCAR race, but I could get a lot of my family to go with it being only 20 minutes from our homes. What do you think the chances are that it will make the schedule? Also, I think Michigan and Richmond would be great for August if the others don’t return.
Michael McCue Adrian, MI
RM: Well, we all have good memories of MIS, but it’s not on the radar for 2016 and neither is Richmond. Like I wrote, I think Gateway outside St. Louis has the best chance of being added if Milwaukee and/or Pocono goes away because track owner Curtis Francois is gung-ho about having an IndyCar race. I think as long as Detroit is on the sked, Michigan is very doubtful. But, with Jay Frye opening up the ISC lines of communication and scoring Phoenix, maybe MIS could be back in play with or without Belle Isle.
Q: I read your response to my idea about finishing the season at IMS on the road course. OK, so let ABC have the month of May and keep the road course race there. But how about still finishing at IMS, but use a format that requires so many laps on the road course and so many laps on the oval? I do realize there is some transition time to reconfigure the facility from one layout to the other, but this “dash for the cash” scenario again leverages the resources of the No.1 facility in motorsports.
I occasionally read that the only event IndyCar should be running is the Indy 500 – something I totally disagree with – but the idea that the Midwest is the hub for IndyCar racing should be taken into consideration when designing the schedule. In that same vein, I believe that IndyCar would do well to surround the Indy 500 with events at satellite states – Kentucky, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and Illinois. That means IndyCar needs to be back at several tracks. Someone mentioned a stable schedule and with that I also agree. I remember the last few years at Kentucky I had to keep checking the schedule to see if it was a day or night race (night races are much cooler, both figuratively and literally). If you want to kill an event, keep the fans unsure of when it will run.
RM: The road race at IMS is never going to be much of a draw because the only race we will ever care about is the Indy 500. But it has slowly grown on me because it opens May on national television and it’s better than having a couple thousand for Pole Day.
Your proposed format in ending the season with a split between road course and oval for mega bucks might have some potential but it sounds like it’s tough enough to find a big presenting sponsor for the 100th Indianapolis 500 so not sure where the money would come from. As for more Midwestern races like Kentucky, MIS, St. Louis, Chicagoland – it takes two to tango, and only Gateway seems interested in bringing back IndyCar.
Q: I would’ve written this sooner, but with circumstances with Justin Wilson. I decided to wait. What are the chances of Pocono being back on the schedule next year? Oh, one more thing. On Saturday before qualifying started I had a Flyers hat on and one of Ganassi’s pit crew stop over and talk to me. We talk hockey for about five minutes. He was Penguins fan and we talked about which team will do better this season. After that he told me to have fun and I wished his team good luck. I thought that was cool someone on the pit crew decided to talk to me. Unbelievable!
Amon, Philadelphia, PA
RM: Like I said in an earlier response, I think it’s 50/50 because Pocono’s president didn’t sound overly optimistic when I spoke to him a few weeks ago yet IndyCar has it tentatively set for August 22, so maybe Pocono is just trying to give JWill a respectful distance before making it official.
Q: Is there any possibility that NBCSN would air IndyCar test sessions during this long off-season? Maybe not a live broadcast but an edited down one or two-hour highlight show with all the on track action, driver interviews, silly season reports/rumors, etc. – kind of like the qualifying coverage? I don’t know how many test sessions are scheduled but I’m guessing there are at least three or four. Seems like an easy way for NBCSN to add to the schedule, sell some ads and keep you busy. And it might make the off- season seem a little shorter for those of us that still follow the series.
Blake, Flower Mound, TX
RM: I like the idea and NBCSN could have some room in December but I think the best way for it to become a reality is to have IMS Productions shoot it with Kevin, Katie and myself conducting the interviews and then delivering it to NBCSN as a produced package that could air three of four times during the winter.
Q: Unfortunately, since neither MotoGP nor F1 could make a home in Indianapolis, I propose that the town of Speedway repaint their water tower to read Speedway: Home of the Indianapolis 500 instead of Racing Capital of the World.
John, Brownsburg IN
RM: Not sure about that but I just hope they remove the MotoGP billboard before next year. And the Indy 500 is still king so we’re kinda still the capital.
Q: You have frequently expressed your dislike of NASCAR’s Chase system, and your view seems to be shared by many of those who comment in this forum. Personally, I like the latest concept of the Chase (if not its exact implementation) because it put an emphasis on winning. Sports of all kinds should be about winning, not about being conservative enough not to lose (Montoya drove more conservatively after Indy and lost).
Ball and stick sports are replete with examples of teams who were mediocre during the regular season, but came alive during the playoffs and won a title because they had no choice but to win or go home. Granted NASCAR’s Chase would not work in IndyCar for a variety of reasons at the moment, but I wish a lot more points were awarded to drivers for winning, leading the most laps, and taking the pole. Reward drivers who go for it instead of playing it safe. I cringe when I hear a driver finish fifth and say they had a good points day. Dammit, drive to win, not be content being the fourth loser! If you were in charge, how would you structure the championship point system?
David, Greensboro, NC
RM: The NASCAR Chase nearly had the all-time PR catastrophe last year when Ryan “I Never Won A Race” Newman had a shot to be the champion in the finale. So when I hear that NASCAR puts more value on wins I just laugh. And, of course, the all-time insulting phrase in racing: “We had a top-25 car today.” Wow. But I also don’t like double points for the IndyCar finale – no race should count more than another one, except maybe Indianapolis, but even that’s too gimmicky. The best point payout was the old F1 system: 9-6-4-3-2-1, although I’d favor a larger spread like 12-6-4-3-2-1 to make winning mean even more. Then again, how about just one point for a win and nothing else?
Q: Why does an organization named RACER have zero coverage of sprint car and midget racing? Is the editorial board trying to tell us Sprint car guys & gals aren’t ‘racers’? I suspect that combined attendance at WoO, USAC, All Stars, events easily dwarfs the combined attendance at SCCA, IMSA, Pro Mazda, USF2000, events. Having said all that, I thought your articles on the Chilli Bowl and Gabby Chaves’ foray to the Speedrome were absolutely outstanding, but I get the distinct impression that you did those on your own dime.
Chris Lukens, Colorado Springs
RM: Fair question but you must know that RACER’s audience is primarily IndyCars, F1 and sports cars with a heavy dose of vintage. And it’s not that RACER or RACER.com doesn’t like or respect midgets, sprints and short track racing but there’s only Marshall Pruett, Mark Glendenning and myself to cover everything and there’s no way for me to even get to USAC Sprint Week because I’m always at IndyCar races.
That’s why RACER always sends me to the Chili Bowl: owner Paul Pfanner understands it’s a big deal and the start of a new racing season, plus sportscar racer Chris Dyson participated this year and is hooked. Our goal is to get Josef Newgarden and Gabby rides next year in Tulsa, and sprint star Sierra Jackson into an IndyCar. RACER let me do a series of videos last winter on USAC’s tough guys, which I will continue this winter and expand to iconic tracks and races. So keep reading, we’ll have plenty of midget and sprint stuff the next few months.
Q: For the past few months I have been pondering all the things that are wrong with IndyCar, while watching the best racing anywhere. I know there are things that fans suggest that Miles and friends will never listen to, but here is mine.
The problem is xenophobia! Let me explain. Too many involved with IndyCar are always wanting more American drivers, only American venues and rave about Chevy engines etc. They don’t want races that conflict with U.S. football, and pay little attention in the press to non-U.S. drivers, even if they win. I know that Indy has always been the greatest sports spectacle in the U.S., and is supported by mainly U.S. fans, but there lies the problem. The U.S. racing market is dominated by NASCAR. When TG split from CART, one of his goals was an all-oval (an American tradition) series with U.S. drivers, U.S. cars running U.S. engines. Trouble is the U.S. fan base, except the 500, has dwindled and been divided, and U.S. kids are no longer the car buffs their parents and grandparents were.
IndyCar will not last many more years if its intent is to promote only a U.S. series. Outside of the U.S., in Canada, Australia, Mexico, Brazil and Europe, there are still race fans, most that don’t care about ovals, NASCAR or U.S. football. During the CART days there were races in most of those places, and when I attended the last Vancouver Indy, the place was packed even at 35 degrees Celsius [95 degrees F to us Americans -Ed.]. IndyCar needs to shed its xenophobia once and for all and embrace race fans in other countries by running more races around the world and heralding drivers from other countries. The non-U.S. races should count for the championship as well. Maybe then, sponsors will show up, new teams will be added, and the series can run from February to November.
Keith, Maple Ridge, BC
RM: I think most of IndyCar would love to return to the days of Vancouver (ABOVE), Surfers Paradise, Mexico City and even the ovals in England (Rockingham) or Germany (Lausitzring). They had great crowds and atmosphere but the layout in Vancouver is long gone, and the Surfers layout has been shortened. IndyCar is looking at Mexico City for 2016 and I’m always lobbying for more races in Canada (Calgary might have a shot in 2016), but it all comes down to supply and demand.
China seemed interested but that became a political battleground and didn’t happen, but IndyCar wants a big payday to go outside North America and there’s just not a big line of potential promoters or countries willing to do that at the moment. It would be great to go back to Australia and maybe tack on New Zealand because with Dixie and Power it could be a massive draw. Hell, I’d like to see IndyCar go to Colombia because Montoya is a god there and Gabby Chaves thinks it would be huge. But don’t discount the USA. Who would have dreamed Birmingham, Ala., would host one of IndyCar’s best-attended races?
Q: Before I make my ticket reservations for next year’s 500 and for this year’s Turkey Night Grand Prix, I wanted to pose a question to see whether it is a good idea or not: A while back, you mentioned that Davey Hamilton was put in charge of USAC’s Pavement Division. As a suggestion to maybe help the man with his job (and I suggest this with a full understanding that a lot of things need to go right for it to be on the table) and to benefit IndyCar: why not run the Silver Crown cars as an undercard on the short ovals? Ideally, we would need more than Iowa and (presumably) Milwaukee – Phoenix and Gateway would seem to be plausible additions if the front office wanted to go along with the idea.
There is still a fundamental technology disconnect between the two, but it might provide some exposure to these rising USAC stars to the IndyCar set and, if you could get the lower rungs of the Road to Indy in on the deal, it might also provide a plausible pipeline for open-wheel oval racing development (and, more importantly, to keep that aspect of the sport from all but dying out and requiring some sort of resurrection). Additionally, it would seem wise if IndyCar, USAC, and the SCCA (which sanctions the Pirelli World Challenge, who should be on the card at every IndyCar road and street race) pooled some resources and worked to actually promote their common race weekends – you know, something that might actually help out the track owners and might ensure good races stay on the calendar (Fontana and New Hampshire, anyone?).
Given that IndyCar’s management has consistently stated their intent to ignore this advice, and given that I wish to see Fontana return to the schedule at some distant point in the future, I realize I’m probably hoping against hope. On that note, do you know any way I could get a job at 16th and Georgetown to draw up a good schedule? I have entirely too much free time to think about the matter.
Garrett from San Diego
RM: Davey went to USAC to help in several areas and bailed after a few weeks. Some people said he only went to find a home for his winged sprint series, but I don’t buy it. He and Kevin Miller didn’t agree on much of anything. The only place that ever drew a crowd to watch USAC prelims on an IndyCar weekend was Iowa on Friday nights, so promoters aren’t exactly lined up to host Silver Crown. And it’s a lot easier to draw up a good schedule than it is to actually lock one down.
Q: The FIA Formula 4 is coming to America. That’s great! Or is it? What does this mean? How will this fit in over here?
Tim Davis, Detroit, MI
RM: I asked my Formula 4 expert Bryan Herta, whose son Colton is competing in the 30-race Euro Formula 4 series this season. Hertamania says Formula 4 is quicker than an F1600 but not as fast as an F2000, and he thinks there’s a place for it in North America.
Q: Regarding the Sept. 17 article saying F4 arrives in the USA: why, and do we need another open-wheel division? Will it compete with already established series like USF2000? The spec of the cars seem similar.
RM: My initial reaction is that we already have too many, and we are seeing a distinctive path now with Dan Andersen’s Mazda Road to Indy. Herta says cost control is Formula 4’s biggest selling point. An F4 car is $53,000 compared to $85,000 for an F1600 ride.
Q: Does Formula 4 in the U.S. stand a snowball’s chance? How does it propose to succeed where others have failed?
Rob Peterson, Rochester, NY
RM: Herta says it’s got a chance and it makes sense because it’s priced right and I guess that could be the reason it makes it or disappears in a couple years.
Q: I am a very devoted and eager IndyCar fan. I attended three races this year (Barber, Indy, Pocono) as well as being out on the go-kart track the same weekend the Indy cars were at Fontana. The off-season is far too long, and I eagerly check out Twitter and IndyCar forums to keep myself up to date on the latest breaking news.
One of the biggest controversies that fans appear to continue bringing up are the inconsistencies in Race Control, and I do not blame them. What are the chances that IndyCar implements some sort of Virtual Safety Car similar to what F1 has for next year? This would eliminate any sort of closing of the pits and drastically changing up the running order of the race, similar to what happened to Power and Montoya (as well as half the field) at Sonoma.
Will Power described IndyCar as to being a weekly lottery, and it has been admitted by Race Control in the past that full-course yellows were held off until everyone had taken their pit stops at St. Pete, whereas a NASCAR-like yellow was thrown at Sonoma for Luca Filippi who was simply driving at half-speed around the track. Something needs to be done.
From a scheduling standpoint, will we be seeing a double-header at Toronto next year? What is the status of the newer tracks being confirmed and the returning tracks making it back on the schedule (Pocono, Milwaukee to be specific)?
Andrew W, Poughkeepsie, NY
RM: Can’t see IndyCar ever leaving the pits open but I think they should be because it’s a lot more about competition that way than the crapshoot it can be nowadays. I get that for safety reasons they don’t want everyone running full bore when the Holmatro boys are cleaning up a crash or towing in a car, but you’d hope a local, waving yellow could slow them down at the scene. Of course I’d get rid of the pit speed limit too and just make the crews stay behind the wall until the car stopped, but I’m an old, out-of-touch fossil. Toronto will not be a double-header and Phoenix should be confirmed soon, but Mexico City, Milwaukee and Pocono are TBDs.
Q: In a previous post you talked about “reality” setting in for the IndyCar Series in 2017. I’m guessing this must be sponsor-related (with various contracts expiring)? If so, how much concern is there within the paddock or with Mark Miles?
Scott C., Bargersville, IN
RM: So much emphasis is being put on the 100th Indianapolis 500 and that’s understandable, but I’m concerned about Verizon, Honda and trying to keep 20 cars on the track. I think the paddock is more realistic about it than management because they’re living it.
Q: Semi off-topic, if you were doing the hiring for Chip’s new sports car endeavor, what drivers in the IndyCar paddock would you choose?
Chris Ward, Indianapolis
RM: Bourdais and Pagenaud because of their previous performance and experience at Le Mans, ABOVE, and in sports car racing.
Q: Funny that Newgarden ran the Wheldon/Wilson kart race sponsored by Big Machine Records (Ganassi sponsor).
Chris Ward, Indianapolis
RM: Josef is pals with Big Machine’s big man, Scott Borshetta, and it would be great to see Newgarden land with Chip after TK retires from IndyCar in a couple years, but I don’t see anything for 2016 except JN staying with CFH.
Q: So I’ve been thinking long and hard about driver protection and I have an idea that could be implemented on the DW12 as a stop-gap for better technology on the next generation of open-wheel cars (whenever that may be). I propose a modified version of what the NHRA has been using in Top Fuel dragsters for years. No, not the canopy, but the windshield and roll bar cockpit that’s been in use for decades.
In Top Fuel, the driver is fully enclosed by the roll cage over his head and the windshield extends to cover most of the driver’s face. I think something like this would be perfect for IndyCar. Extend the carbon fiber of the roll hoop and airbox around 6-12″ over the driver’s head to better encapsulate the helmet. Then add a reinforced windshield that extends to cover most, if not all, of the driver’s face. Install tearoffs onto the windshield just like in any closed cockpit racing to keep driver’s vision clear. I wouldn’t go with Lexan only for the windshield: I would have a frame of carbon fiber running around the top to tie into the roll hoop structure and a few vertical supports to support the plastic against impact.
Neither of these modifications would require a major redesign of the existing chassis and should be fairly easy to implement (read: cheap for teams). Hell, if IndyCar is serious about safety, they should pay for the upgrades. Top Fuel cars run at over 300mph and are much heavier, so if it’s been proven in the NHRA, I think it an be adapted to IndyCar as well. I don’t think this is a final solution to protecting driver’s heads, but it’s a step in the right direction and again, can be implemented to the existing cars. I’d really like to see something like this in place by St. Pete. Any idea what ideas Dallara has been floating around?
David Zipf, Lexington, KY
RM: Not sure what Dallara is thinking but IndyCar has a committee doing an exhaustive search on what might be possible with today’s car and we’ll let you know if and when there is a suggestion/solution. Or if it’s going to take a new car.
Q: Did Dick Simson perfect the rent-a-ride system? Yet, how did he get respectability with Raul Boesel? This has to be enough for a couple of good stories, and maybe novel. He was racing speedboats the last I heard.
RM: Dick certainly made it an art form and he quite the salesman, as well as pretty damn sharp with a chassis. I remember the time Morris Nunn was engineering Boesel’s car and they were fast but Dick decided to share their setups with the other three cars and Morris blew a fuse.
Q: Did you see the movie Gonchi about Gonzalo Rodriguez? I had no idea this guy was battling with Montoya, Justin Wilson and Mark Webber in F3000. They even said he was hired by Pat Patrick for the 2000 season. I guess that ended the dark period for Team Penske when they were struggling with the Penske chassis, Mercedes power and the Goodyear tires. Now the IndyCar season is over, what are you doing to keep yourself busy?
Jim Doyle Hoboken, NJ
RM: Not yet, but it’s getting good reviews and I’d never heard that about Patrick until just now. Yep, R.P. changed everything in 2000 and won the CART title with Gil de Ferran. The Mailbag, some features, a year-end review of each drivers and continuing my Tough Guys video series. And betting on the wrong teams in pro and college football.
Q: Can you enlighten me on what are your favorite open-wheel tracks? I realize that your racing experience is greater than IndyCar. I’m not forgetting that you drove in the USAC midget series. Thank you for your body of work.
Mark McKinley, Floyds Knobs, IN
RM: Loved Terre Haute (ABOVE, with A.J. Foyt and Parnelli Jones in 1961), Kokomo, Little Springfield, Ascot Park, Manzanita, Angel Park, Eldora, Erie (Colorado) and The Devil’s Bowl for dirt tracks. The old Phoenix oval, Trenton, Ontario, Milwaukee, Mt. Tremblant, Riverside and Cleveland were the best for Indy cars while IRP was great for midgets, sprints and even Indy cars.
Q: I am a bit of a history buff on my community of Erie, Pa. I once heard from a co-worker that a local during the times of innovations (way back in the day), put together/repaired/built a IndyCar in his garage here in Erie, for the Indy 500. Not sure of the year or how it ran. Any truth to that story? Having a big company such as G.E., I know that we have some talented welders within the community, just curious if it is a tall tale or not.
Paul Hirsch, Erie, PA
RM: I asked Donald Davidson and he needs more information – if you can find out what year or years would be a good start. My favorite do-it-yourself Indy driver from Pennsylvania was Jerry Karl and the Tonco Trailer Special and, of course, Al Loquasto in the Indy on a Shoestring Special. But you may be talking earlier than the 1970s.
Q: Neither IndyCar nor F1 enjoy the fields or appeal they once had, due mainly to the high costs to compete. High sanctioning fees levied by IndyCar or Bernie E. have caused many venues to drop IndyCar or F1 from their schedules. Many storied circuits don’t host a round of IndyCar or F1, a real shame.
The current IndyCar package has resulted in excellent, close racing, on ovals, street and road courses. Mailbag readers regularly express the desire for multiple chassis and powerplants vs the Dallara DW12 and Chevrolet/Honda power.
Here are some suggestions to solve these problems:
1. Create a true IndyCar World Series, with regional championships to grow the brand and fan base. For example, have three regions, North and South America (U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil), Europe/Mideast (France, Germany, Spain, UK, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi), Austral/Asia (Australia, New Zealand, Japan). I bet many former F1 race venues would welcome IndyCar vs. the big $$$ and politics they endured with Bernie.
2. At the end of each regional series, the Top 10 teams/ drivers are invited to a 4-5 race weekend shootout that would crown the IndyCar World Champion.
3. While the Indy 500 would be part of the N/S American series, teams from other regions would be welcomed and encouraged to take part. This would dramatically increase car counts and bump day would once again be … exciting and dramatic.
4. IndyCar’s next chassis would not be single-sourced, rather Dallara would engineer and supply an approved driver safety cell from which Dallara, or other builders, including current F1 teams, add their own chassis components. Ready to race chassis prices would be capped and transparent, leveling the playing field between all parties. Front/rear wing packages, for ovals, street and road circuits, would be governed by IndyCar.
5. In view of the success of the V8 Supercar Series, perhaps these manufacturers’ poweplants could replace the Chevrolet and Honda’s 2.2 liter engines. Turbos would be added to increase HP and keep that unique, special sound we love. Perhaps these ideas will initiate feedback from regular mailbaggers. To be successful IndyCar needs more teams and venues to race at, with the grounds/ grandstands filled…and a dedicated TV partner.
RM: It all sounds grand but you have to have interest from these tracks or manufacturers and that comes from big crowds and TV ratings and then you need big purses to attract more competitors. It’s a vicious cycle and right now IndyCar doesn’t have the necessary clout to create the kind of interest you are talking about.
Yes, it’s the best, most diverse racing on the planet but that’s not enough to get F1 teams or new manufacturers jazzed about coming to Indy. Ford chose sports cars over IndyCars but maybe if the Indy 500 paid $10 million to win it could create the kind of competition you are talking about. That’s the only thing that might get McLaren’s attention or Richard Childress and a couple of NASCAR owners. And don’t be too sure anybody but Dallara wants to build/supply IndyCars.