Complementing the new rear downforce options the IndyCar Series has given its teams on superspeedways, one downforce addition and one wing modification have also been ratified for 2019.
With teams calling for an increase in rear downforce, and those requests having been met, a similar need for more front downforce has been met with the option of installing a third piece to the ‘Pocono’ front wing extensions. Despite its small size, the 3/8-inch tall and 5.5-inch wide Gurney flap will generate more downforce across the front axle, and can be used — asymmetrically, if desired — to help improve aerodynamic balance.
“To place more power on the front wing, they’ve allowed the extensions for all tracks, and that should give us the better ability to add downforce if we feel it’s warranted,” Scott Dixon’s championship-winning race engineer Chris Simmons told RACER. “And it’s also meant to improve a driver’s ability to pass on the big ovals by giving that extra front grip.”
Harder racing should come as a byproduct of making more front and rear downforce options available on the superspeedways, and in an effort to curb the problems caused last year when pursuing cars lost front downforce while running in turbulent air, the series has instructed its teams to notch the outer portion of the front speedway wings.
“We did some testing with IndyCar late last year and tried this change,” Simmons added. “IndyCar did some CFD work to find why it wasn’t easy to follow other cars, and one of the studies found the air separated at the edge of the wing next to the end plate, where it stalls, and the solution they came up with was to shorten the chord at the ends of the wing by cutting out the notches, which reduces the stall, cleans up the air and makes the front wing more efficient and consistent for the drivers in traffic.”