A fifth contender has entered the race to create the new generation Indy car chassis after a group of Indianapolis 500-winning designers formed BAT Engineering.
Former Lola designer and Reynard USA head Bruce Ashmore, ex-March and Galmer designer Alan Mertens, and former G-Force designer and engineer Tim Wardrop have joined forces to create BAT. The company's Indy car concept is intended to provide extremely close racing in cars that can sustain a degree of wheel-banging and curb-hopping without damage, the company says.
"The BAT Engineering design has not only produced a very fast car, but it also provides the strength and structure to allow the drivers to race hard and go wheel to wheel without ending their race early," said a BAT statement. "This close racing and the durability of the car design, will add to the on-track spectacle and competitive format with more entries making the dash to the checkered flag."
BAT has held meetings with renowned motorsport surgeon Dr. Terry Trammell and IndyCar's safety and technical directors Jeff Horton and Les Mactaggart to incorporate safety benefits over the current chassis into its design. In addition, the company promises that the car will be constructed within 30 miles of Indy, to keep teams' costs down and stimulate local industry.
"With the very latest in Computer Aided Design and Computational Fluid Dynamics software to develop the shape and aerodynamics, BAT Engineering is putting technology on their side for the design, and the firm has also made agreements with various software and simulations companies to most efficiently manage the modeling and pre-build testing of the entry long before it hits the pavement," the company added.
BAT's bid is based on a program that would see the design entirely built within a 30-mile radius of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, using highly skilled American labor. Further details of the concept, which features strength, protected wheels and stable aerodynamics to ensure close racing, will be announced in the near future.
Dallara, Lola, Swift and DeltaWing have already revealed their proposals for the new Indy car, which is scheduled to replace the current Dallara-Honda spec chassis in 2012. A decision on which car(s) will be used is expected within the next few months.