IndyCar has announced that all IZOD IndyCar Series teams will utilize the oval and road/street course bodywork that is part of the Dallara chassis package with the next-generation car for the 2012 season, delaying the introduction of the alternative kits built by outside suppliers until the 2013 season.
IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard informed team owners of his decision to delay alternative aero kits during a meeting at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, explaining that concerns over costs were the primary factor behind the delay.
“The most important thing we can do as a series is look at what is in the best interest of both our long and short term,” Bernard said. "It is important that we maintain a high car count next year by ensuring we have cost containment for our teams. We must listen to our team owners and try to help. We don't want to see our car counts go from 26 and 27 down to 16 because of the aero kits. The manufacturers have told us it's very expensive and the team owners have told us it's very expensive.
"No one is more disappointed than I that we're not going to do it, but I feel this is by far the best decision for our series. The 2012 season will be exciting with the debut of our new car as we focus on relevancy and technology through engine competition, turbochargers and direct injection.”
IndyCar noted that the new car itself will provide savings over the current Dallara model, in service since 2003. The 2012 car will be priced at $385,000 for the complete chassis package, about 40 percent less than the current car, while the maximum engine lease agreement of $690,000 is about 30 percent less and the Firestone tire bill will increase $250,000, according to Bernard.
"We've got new engines and a new car next year so we can have another new story for 2013," Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti said.
Fifteen more chassis test sessions are scheduled through September, following last week's introductory test at Mid-Ohio. Engine manufacturers Honda, Chevrolet and Lotus, each of whom has a chassis ordered, are scheduled to begin testing their 2.2-liter turbocharged V-6 engines in early October. Individual race teams are scheduled to receive their first chassis in mid-December.