On the two-year anniversary of the unveiling of the chassis design now known as the Dallara DW12, IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard reiterated his commitment to and confidence in the car in the face of complaints about rising costs by the sport's team owners.
"I think the owners are wrong; the cost of the car has gone down," Bernard told IndyCar.com. "I think (the car) has met its goals in many ways. Kids can identify with this car, they love the looks of it, and that's one of the key areas we tried to reach – a younger demographic along with the traditionalists. The raceability of the car, we've seen this car being faster than the last year of the previous car. And we've seen Honda and Chevy in a fantastic duel."
Bernard said the parameters of the car were set in motion just two months after his being named CEO of IndyCar.
"What a lot of people don't know is that in the first two meetings of the ICONIC Advisory Committee the car wasn't even discussed," Bernard said. "They were strictly about understanding our fans. We brought out the highlights of research of who our fans are and what they like. It was very important in the entire process, and the one thing we haven't answered yet is they want to see a differentiation in the cars and that's what the ICONIC Committee had in mind with the aero kits.
"We came up with a process that allowed differentiation, allowed areas to be open for new technology and aerodynamics and to get those different-looking cars on the track. That's the only step we need to follow up on."
While the future of the aerokits – which the owners have urged to be postponed as an unnecessary expense – remains to be decided, AUTOSPORT reports that Dallara has rejected IndyCar team owners' demands for a 40 percent reduction in the cost of spare parts for the DW12, to compensate for what they believe to be a steep increase in costs.
"We can't match that," Stefano de Ponti, head of Dallara's U.S. arm, told AUTOSPORT magazine this week. "We are willing to help, but that is an impossible percentage. We met our commitment with IndyCar, and we made our business plan in accordance with what they told us to do. Unfortunately, there is this idea that we are a gold mine at Dallara. We are not."
De Ponti added that the manufacturer is firmly opposed to the idea of allowing outside suppliers to build spares for the DW12, saying that Dallara delivered the car at the agreed price point with the understanding that it would not be able to recoup development costs on the sale of the chassis alone. Over the next few years, Dallara plans to shift full production of the cars from the company's Parma, Italy base to its new facility in Speedway, Ind.