IndyCar announced in June that aerodynamic modifications would be introduced to the IndyCar Series in 2015 and Thursday announced that both Chevrolet and Honda have signed off to become the first producers of the ‘aero kit' era.
The latest announcement ensures that the IndyCar Series will begin adopting a hint of innovation, producing cars that have distinct appearances based on manufacturer identity. It's also a major step towards increasing speeds in the attempt to break the two decade old Indianapolis Motor Speedway qualifying record by 2016 in the 100th Indianapolis 500.
As expected, the aero kits will include separate specifications for superspeedway and road/street/short ovals respectively.
"Aero kits will improve the diversity of the fan experience and renew technical engagement, while providing a controlled cost structure," said Derrick Walker, president of competition and operations, IndyCar.
While the 2015 aero kit selection will be limited to a team's engine supplier, the 2016 season will be open to additional engine manufacturers and third-party vendors to begin developing the modifications.
IndyCar has made the following areas on the car open for aerodynamic modifications: Sidepods, engine cover and oval front wing main plane and end plates. Potential alterations to the undertray of the car is also under consideration.
On-track testing for the modifications begin on Oct. 6, 2014, and will conclude on Jan. 18, 2015.
Highlights of the regulations as provided by IndyCar:
- No entrant may use more than two aero kits during a season. The 2012 Dallara aero kit is approved as one of the aero kits.
- Dallara will continue to supply a number of standard components that affect aerodynamic performance.
- For the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, an entrant may use more than one aero kit during practice sessions. The aero kits utilized in qualifications must be used in the race.
- Entrants will be charged no more than $75,000 per aero kit by the supplier, inclusive of all components, but excluding fasteners. A 2016 upgrade kit will cost no more than $15,000.
- Six days of pre-production testing have been approved, with each supplier using a maximum of two cars from entrants. Engine mileage accrued will not count against the entrants' 10,000-mile-per-year allocation or engine count.
The aerodynamic platforms will complement engine manufacturer competition that returned to the IndyCar Series in 2012 following a six-year period in which Honda was the sole supplier.
For the 2014 season, both manufacturers will supply consumer-relevant 2.2-liter, twinturbocharged V6 engines using E85 fuel.
Are you excited for aerodynamic enhancement in the IndyCar Series? Which third-party vendors would you like to see produce aero kits? Tell us in the comments section below.