The NTT IndyCar Series is sticking with its plans to introduce a new chassis after its new-for-2023 hybrid engine formula debuts. For at least the first year of the 2.4-liter twin-turbo V6 formula boosted by a kinetic energy recovery system, IndyCar’s current Dallara DW12 chassis will be utilized. As IndyCar president Jay Frye shared in an interview earlier in the year, the series was contemplating whether to bring an entirely new chassis online at once, or if it would be better to roll out new components in phases to spread the costs to teams over multiple seasons. With time to reflect on its options, Frye says IndyCar’s reached a decision.
“Well, it certainly won’t be all at once, because economics matter to everyone, obviously,” he told RACER. “And in 2023, the main goal with this current car is, how does this new engine and this new hybrid system effect it, from installation, to, what does it do aerodynamically? Does it change? In what ways does the speed change? What do we have to do to accommodate it? Are there different things needed with the wings? Different things with the brakes?
“So there’s all these things we want to use our existing car for to learn with, and once we get to that point where we feel we’ve gotten all that information processed, then it’s asking what’s next? That’s what we’re working on right now. Once we know what that looks like, then we’ll reverse-engineer from 2028 going backwards to 2023 and have a better understanding of what we have to do to the car to update it. And there will be more annual updates throughout the course of that time than one complete overhaul.”
IndyCar has long expressed its interest in having a new tub that’s been designed from the outset to incorporate anti-intrusion panels, plus the new aeroscreen, in an effort to reduce weight. Determining where its design, manufacturing, and distribution would take place is among the bigger questions Frye’s looking to answer.
“Well, we wouldn’t see anything like that happening right away,” he said. “The soonest would be 2024.”
More than a decade into its exclusive chassis supply arrangement with Dallara, IndyCar says it isn’t looking to make changes to the relationship in the future.
“Dallara’s a great partner, so I wouldn’t envision it being with anyone else,” Frye said. “But again, we’re working on right now what we’ve got to do to get through 2023; what we’ve got coming. Obviously we talk to them all the time about the future and what the future could look like from 2028 coming backwards. So they’re part of the mix of what we do every day. They’re a great partner, and they’ve been a longtime partner. So I would not anticipate anything changing there.”