Indy Racing League President of Competition Brian Barnhart says that the current exclusive chassis arrangement Italian constructor Dallara holds in the IndyCar Series could end when the new engine and chassis rules come into effect, which he says is still “most likely” to happen in 2012.
In an interview with Racintoday.com, Barnhart said, “We're not opposed to opening things up, as one business model would show it,” when asked whether additional manufacturers would be permitted. “And we're also not opposed to staying with an exclusive supplier on the chassis side,” he added. “We're just going to try to measure both of those out right now before making a decision on which way to go, on which would be the best financial way to go.”
Barnhart reiterated that cost savings remains the primary objective of the new rules being considered by the league. “We're really moving down a path of reducing the cost of participation, in terms of chassis and engine costs for the series,” Barnhart said. “And when the new chassis-engine package comes on board, most likely in 2012, that will be the primary focus: to reduce costs in both arenas while still running the most diverse race schedule out there. That will also improve the stability of the teams and the opportunity for new teams to come on board, to increase the value of participation in the series from that aspect of it.
“There's also a focus of trying to attract new engine manufacturers. We still have ongoing dialogue with three additional manufacturers in addition to our existing partner, Honda, for a total of four manufacturers that have expressed a desire to build engines and participate beginning in 2012.”