The 2012 DW12 Dallara Indy car comes with a single aero kit - Anne Proffit photoEnlarge Photo
After INDYCAR introduced new engine manufacturer competition for the 2012 campaign, the series' competition department began looking into prospective aerodynamic kits to enhance chassis competition for next year.
The series sent the 2013-2014 INDYCAR regulations for aero kits to interested parties on May 14, giving prospective aerodynamic kit suppliers until May 25, two days before the running of the 96th Indianapolis 500 to commit to the program. President and CEO Randy Bernard said there might be some flexibility on the final date to accept proposals.
The aero kit concept was announced along with the introduction of the 2012 Dallara chassis, known as the DW12 to honor the chassis' tester, the late Dan Wheldon. To allow visible bodywork diversity, the Dallara chassis can be differentiated by shape, with the car name incorporating the supplier for brand identity, beginning in 2013.
"We've had great interest from multiple companies," said Will Phillips, INDYCAR vice president of technology. "Some companies may see this as exciting training for their engineers or as a means to showcase their hardware for aerodynamic development. Others, such as automotive companies, may see this as a way to enhance their North American brand presence."
Approved suppliers will design and develop their aero kits and, upon INDYCAR approval may charge teams a maximum of $75,000 per complete kit, the series decreed.
Areas open for development for road/street/short oval circuits include sidepods, front- and rear-wing endplates, flaps and the engine cover. The chassis' aero kit for a speedway configuration encompasses sidepods, front- and rear-wing endplates and the engine cover.
No IZOD IndyCar Series entrant may run more than three homologated aero kits with the two-year period, with one of those kits being the 2012 Dallara road/street/short oval and superspeedway aero kit, the rules state.
A list of approved suppliers will be announced in June by INDYCAR, with on-track testing tentatively scheduled at the start of the 2013 calendar year.