NASCAR has provided the first look at a new race car design being developed in time for the 2021 season. The debut race will be the Cup Series' Daytona 500 season opener.
No details have been provided on the car apart from it being developed with a view to making the race cars more closely resemble the production models from which their exterior designs are derived.
Judging from the photo of a prototype released on Wednesday, there will be new hood vents and larger wheels. Interestingly, the wheels have a five-lug design, which quashes the rumors that the next-gen car could swap to center-lock wheels.
Richard Childress Racing was tapped to build this particular prototype. Another that is also being tested was built by NASCAR. The most recent tests took place at Richmond Raceway with Austin Dillon behind the wheel.
“I like the way that it looks, you can see the finished product down the road,” he said after a quick drive. “The OEMs can make the body look really good, like a street car that you see on the road today.”
There is still a lot of development ahead. NASCAR Senior Vice President of Innovation and Racing Development John Probst said the next stages will see the prototypes used for wind tunnel testing to ensure liftoff speeds are in the safe range, after which the prototypes will move to larger tracks, including intermediate tracks, superspeedways and road courses.