29 September 2009

How to Spice Up the Championship, Part III

Last week, Indycar.com's Dave Lewandowski got Indy Racing League President of Competition and Operations Brian Barnhardt on the record about the future development of chassis and engine packages for the IndyCar Series.

While Barnhardt still believes that the package(s) will be ready for the 2012 season, there is no reason this can't be rolled into the 2009 IndyCar finale at Homestead-Miami.

How, you ask?  Beneath the fold, I'll tell you.

In his sit-down with Lewandowski, Barnhardt said:
My anticipation continues to be for the package to roll out in the 2012 season.  We have four manufacturers that have expressed interest in participation in the series beginning in 2012, which in this (economic) environment we feel very good about. So we're continuing dialogue with them and hope to have final word from them in the next couple of months.

Alright, so we should expect an announcement in the fourth quarter of 2009.  Well, October 1 begins the fourth quarter of the year (though it's the beginning/end of the fiscal year) - why not roll out a little bit of information over the weekend at Homestead?  I'm pretty sure people would be interested in this.

While we don't need to know which engine manufacturers are still involved in the planning process, it would be nice to see some of the chassis plans that Barnhardt has discussed.  As he told Lewandowski:
We have two significantly different chassis packages in terms of appearance and how different and radical they are from our current car.  The one is so radically different it will entail significantly more in terms of R&D, cost and time. It's kind of out there.

You think people wouldn't crowd around trying to get a glimpse of the competing designs for the 2012 chassis?  (Just look at this photo from this article we linked to in August, which provides amazing insight into the engine/chassis development of the future - you wouldn't stop to look at it?)

Hell, post enlarged pictures of the designs if you can't get a model - let people come to a tent and vote on which design they prefer.

While the IndyCar fan might not have a direct voice in which future chassis is chosen, why not let them feel like a part of the process?  Future fan involvement, whether at the track or in merchandise shops, is vital to the survival of this series - might as well get them interested in the mechanical development of the series, especially with all the clamoring for new manufacturers.

I don't think it's too much for IndyCar to tease the future development of the series at Homestead -it piques fans' interest and will help keep their interest into the winter, when further developments can be announced.

So, there's idea number three for Homestead; you can look at the first two by clicking here (Part I) and here (Part II). 

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