IndyCar Outlines Long-Term Competition Plans
Walker expects a change to the engine configuration in 2017, which would then set the stage for team development.
“We’re going to open up areas of the cars, and we’re going to try to get back to a little bit more of a variation in our competition in a controlled way, because all the teams want to see us monitor the show, make sure there’s no cheating going on, no bending of the rules, when we open up areas, we’re losing a lot of control in a sense because we’re allowing the teams to do non-Dallara parts or modified parts,” Walker said. “We need to keep the competition fair for everybody. So team development in 2017.
“You’ll see the speeds drop down after 2016. I think that’s just a speculation and it’s also a possibility if it’s required. I’m not sure that we as IndyCar need to be doing the sound barrier all the time every year; we don’t need to break that barrier. I think you will see changes in specifications to the car that will influence speed. The quest to be quick is certainly an objective.”
By 2018, Walker believes a new car will be introduced to the series, which will replace the current Dallara/DW 12 chassis.
“That’s a very important year, because the current car, with aero kits, 2018, it’s probably the end of its current form in competition – or could be,” Walker said. “We’re saying it probably is, or is rather, not probably. If you look at the current platform of the pieces we’ve got, even with the aero kits thrown in there, the basic package has been on the shelf for quite a long time at that point. There will be a lot of other ideas coming along, safety ideas, all kinds of things that come along, that will say that we need do some bigger changes. By 2018 you’re probably looking at the end of era of this current car. Then we’re really faced with a situation, if we were so lucky, going into 2019 by saying, do we go with another new car, get the latest technology, or do we find another way. In 2019, we’re saying it has to be a major improvement in the car, a different styling, performance.
“Then when we come to the engine formula. We will have run in formula right through 2019. There’s nothing says we can’t look at other engine formulas along the way, but obviously we haven’t said that in this chart. We’ve not intimated that. Any new formula change in the engines we’re going to get with our current partners, Chevrolet and Honda, say that we have a potential to do this, how do you feel about it. We don’t want to alienate anybody. But certainly 2019, I think it’s far enough out to say we look at other technologies, other engine sizes, other whatever.
“What we’re saying here is obviously we want to build a car that’s not only fast, not only IndyCar, but we want to build a car that’s got a green element to it, a variation in the formula that adds more variety, brings more people into the sport, enhances the competition. We’re putting that out there. Why it’s very useful to have that as a statement as where we’re going to go, as we talk to other manufacturers, interested parties, we can say, here is our plan, if you want to come in with your different technologies, 2019, we can go back to our current partners, introduce it sensibly sooner, I don’t think it’s likely, we can do that.