With the five contenders for the 2012 IndyCar chassis specification set to explain the details of their proposals to Indy Racing League officials in the next few weeks, Brian Barnhart, the league's president of competition, told the Indianapolis Star that the IRL is willing to consider a competitive chassis market rather than the current de facto spec formula. While acknowledging that such competition would not reduce costs as much as a spec formula, Barnhart reckoned it could be done in such a way that it still made financial sense to the teams.
"We're going to define the box of parameters a little clearer than what we have, and that will include a price point," Barnhart told the Star
. "Whoever says they will play under those parameters is who we'll go with."
Dallara's current cars cost $680,000 new, and Barnhart said the league is targeting a price of $360,000 for its replacement. Yet the IRL is willing to consider a slightly higher price in order to gain a competitive chassis market, which would entail higher costs for research and development.
"If they say it will take $430,000 in a competitive environment, I'd probably take that because going from $680,000 now to $430,000 is still a $250,000 improvement," Barnhart added.