The Verizon IndyCar Series will give its teams new aerodynamic tuning options for the next superspeedway race.
The series’ visit to the 2.5-mile Pocono oval in August, which will make use of the same speedway aero configuration seen at Indianapolis and Texas, will coincide with the introduction of two optional front wing pieces.
The primary piece, which bolts to the trailing edge of the front wing from the center inwards, is an extension that creates a wider chord and gives a slight increase in downforce.
The secondary piece, which has a Gurney flap at its training edge, mounts to the outer half of the front wing and offers a smaller extension to the chord. With both pieces affixed, an approximate downforce increase of three percent is expected. The four pieces are also open for teams to use however they prefer.
A lack of tuning options was the chief complaints from drivers and race engineers across the first two speedway events. From inside the cockpit while following other cars, a number of drivers described a benign feeling at the front of the car in turbulent air, as if the tires were floating above the circuit instead of digging in and generating traction.
With the ability to add a few more percent of downloading on the front tires through the four new pieces, it’s hoped the drivers will have the ability to race harder in traffic and create more competitive passing. It’s believed the Pocono race — the last speedway on the 2018 calendar — will also serve as a test run for the 2019 Indy 500. If the pieces achieve the desired effect, they could be carried forward as new tuning items next May.
Another note of interest involves the speculated return of open chassis and aero development boxes. According to a series official, there are “no plans to open up development boxes” on the current chassis.
The introduction of the four new speedway pieces comes after ongoing dialogue with the paddock took place after the Indy 500 and Texas 600 events, and the practice of direct dialogue leading to the introduction of new parts or deregulated areas for team-based manufacturing will follow the same direct procedure.