05 February 2010

Dallara Gets a Jump on the Competition

By now, most of you have seen Dallara's three proposals for their future IndyCar chassis.  While I prefer the one pictured, it doesn't mean that the other two are without merit.

Number 1, at first glimpse, strikes me as an "Indycar." 

However, I can understand why some like design Number 2 - as George Phillips remarks, it resembles more of a Champ Car design.  I will disagree with OilPressure.com though, that the second design doesn't allow for more sponsorship room. 

If you look at #1, the sponsorship panels are similar to what currently exists; on #2, the sidepods are smaller, but the area just above the sidepods - the sloped part - is larger - potentially allowing for larger sponsorship paneling (though the vent could be a problem).

Honestly, I could see the Delta Wing project (scheduled to be unveiled next week), resembling Dallara design #2, in terms of the sloping sidepod.

(I'm not going to cover design #3 - I don't like it, and I can only hope it doesn't get past this stage of Dallara's proposals.)

And while the IZOD IndyCar Series has created a list of requirements for chassis manufacturers - Lola, Swift, Delta Wing and Dallara - I'd like to see the series consider multiple chassis and multiple engine manufacturers.  Yes, costs would likely rise.  But the debates between fans over chassis/engine packages would rise, and at the heart of the IndyCar Series are these debates and the engineering that goes into developing a car.

Still, if Dallara fulfills their promise to relocate to the Indianapolis area (and there's plenty of space available in Speedway, courtesy of the Speedway Redevelopment Project), in order to bring some of the cost down, I can't see a scenario in which a Dallara model is not chosen to be the future of the series.  I just hope that additional chassis are let in, as well, creating competition down the road.


  1. Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star was asked about multiple chassis manufacturers in his "Ask the Expert" Q and A.( Sorry, I don't know how to do links; to read the answer, log onto IndyStar.com and look for the Motorsports section, then look for the "Ask the Expert" section." Anyway, Cavin mentioned that is the chassis manufacturers who want to supply the entire field, as opposed to 1/2 or 1/3 because they feel that the expense would be too great to supply fewer customers.

  2. I know the manufacturers might not want to supply a limited number of cars, but would being in the game (albeit in a limited capacity) be better than not at all?

    And Barnhardt is painting himself into a corner on the decision - his only way out may be to try and convince multiple manufacturers to compete.