Fans of the Dallara DW12 chassis have no reason to worry about its imminent demise.
The NTT IndyCar Series’ spec chassis which debuted in 2012 will continue its meritorious service for an extended period into the future. And while there’s no definitive date on when the DW12 will be replaced by something newer and lighter, the series’ owner says the model that’s currently being used in its 11th season will remain in place through at least 2024 when IndyCar’s new hybrid engines go live.
“I don’t see any urgency (to replace it) at all, there’s no reason,” Roger Penske told RACER. “When you think about, and I don’t know exactly how many cars are in service, but there’s probably 60 or 65 cars, and to spend $600,000 per car to replace them, with the racing as tight as it is today, doesn’t make sense to me.”
With the recent decision to push the new 2.4-liter twin-turbo V6 engines and energy recovery systems from 2023 to 2024, IndyCar gained an extra year to commission a new chassis that would be designed to complement the hybrid package. Even so, Penske says it’s better to keep the DW12 in play for a few more seasons and reap the benefits of working with a known quantity while placing the spotlight on the new power units.
“We’ve got cars that are safe,” Penske said. “You’ve seen the accidents. You’ve seen what the aeroscreens have been able to do from the standpoint of capability and safety, and this will continue from an IndyCar perspective to make the cars better.
“The next hill to climb is to get the hybrid cars running. We’re not taking a vacation because we moved this thing back by 12 months. In fact, we’re doubling down on meetings with Chevy and with Honda to be sure they’re working together as a team to learn this new hybrid system that will be used by everybody. We’re going to push harder and harder on getting the hybrids ready.
“We’ve hit a lot of bumps because of supply chain and COVID, but what I did like is that we just had a test in Indianapolis where both manufacturers ran over 600 miles, first time on the racetrack, with our new engines in the car, which is pretty impressive.”