Nine drivers – all from IZOD IndyCar Series teams running Chevrolet and Honda engines, as the Lotus teams were precluded from taking part by a lack of available engines – are taking to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today for testing of the revised bodywork for the Dallara DW12, aimed at improving high-speed stability of the new IndyCar, which had proved problematic in earlier tests at IMS as well as Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. The revised rear-wheel guards are the only mandatory component for the test. Teams are free to experiment with other setup options such as rear-wing angles and sidewall extension.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing technical director Jay O'Connell, whose driver Takuma Sato is among the drivers taking part, explained what his team hoped to gain from the one-day test.
“We found out we were testing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last Friday night so we started preparing for it on Saturday while at Barber – so it's really been a short amount of time to get ready," O'Connell related Tuesday. "The first step was figuring out some gears and then working on the aerodynamic and mechanical setup based on the manufacturer test result last fall and our previous experience in the Indianapolis 500.
“Our goal at Indy is to build a foundation to use for the month of May. We want to get a good understanding of the basic aerodynamic characteristics of the new car, especially with all of the updates that have been coming in the last couple of months. And we are going to get a chance to understand the difference between the 2011 and 2012 Indy 500 tires, because I understand that they are going to give us two sets of each of those types. With a new car we have to figure out how much of our traditional Indy 500 setups, combined with our understanding of the new car, will work at Indy.”