SPEED's Robin Miller
reports that IndyCar is concerned about the disappointing performance of its 2012 Dallara in testing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last week, where Dario Franchitti (Honda) and Tony Kanaan (Chevrolet) tested for two days.
While the top speeds were only between 208-216mph for either the Honda or Chevy-powered drivers, it was more a product of the car's handling than a question of power, Miller reports that the speeds were more a function of the car's disappointing handling than the power of their new turbo engines.
"The focus of concern is with weight distribution,” Will Phillips, vp of technology for the IZOD IndyCar Series and the midwife of the first new car in a decade for this series, told SPEED. “We need to increase the feel on the front end of the car.
“The short ovals and road courses haven't been the problem. After the first manufacturers test at Mid-Ohio, we were damn sure the new car would be quicker next year and Dan [Wheldon] had a good test at Iowa. The concern is the high-speed oval.”
Phillips praised all the car's suppliers for doing whatever it takes to maintain the new car's production schedule, since the new cars are set to be delivered in less than six weeks.
“The positive thing is that everybody is pulling together and nobody is pointing fingers,” he continued. “The engine manufacturers are looking at ways to help, Xtrac is re-tooling some pattern work to get [its gearbox] lighter and Dallara is making extra bits for next week's test.
No more tests are expected at Indy for the rest of the year, although further oval tests at Homestead and Fontana are planned after the modifications now in preparation have been made.