ROgER gRiffi THS, Honda Performance Development
WITH LIMITED SPARE PARTS, WE’D HAVE
LOOKED FOOLISH IF WE’D LAUNCHED
THE THING AND BROKE A DRIVESHAFT!
INDYCAR VP OF TECHNOLOGY
Bryan Herta, BHA’s chief engineer Todd
Tony Cotman was the car’s architect
and appointed Will Phillips to run it.
Mid-Ohio was less a test, and more of
a systems check and shakedown.
noted the innate desire to select the most
attractive kit, plus spares and extras, and
what it would do to the bottom line.
“Competition being what it is – and this
is why 2012 was a concern – everyone has
to find a way to have it if it’s better,” he said.
“The problem was the timing of the kits.
Not being ready or capable of being ready
with the car and engine coming out so late
would have potentially doubled the cost.”
Wiggins called the transition to the new
Panoz DP01 in Champ Car in 2007 “fairly
smooth” and hoped this current one would
produce similar results. “I think it’s the
right decision for sure, but we have to be
conscious of what the fans feel. We still
want to have enough cars to go racing.”
the opportunity to develop the new car provides a challenge
“The mechanics love it because they’re having to figure
things out,” he commented. “They are problem solvers
again, not just parts changers. There are much more
sophisticated electronics and a lot of suppliers involved,
from brakes to clutches, to tires to engines to chassis, and
basically they were all represented at initial testing.”
The new car is expected to offer more setup freedom
across all kinds of circuits.
“The teams play with stuff like the differential already,”
Wheldon said, “but on the current car a diff change is a huge
job. With the new car, you’ll lose a bit of time, but you’ll be
able to make that change during a session. It’s great for
teams and drivers to have a lot to play with, and we’re going
to have the ability to make those adjustments quickly now.
There are a lot of things that you typically weren’t able to
change during a session, that you’ll now be able to.”
Herta and Wheldon’s stint was due to run for 15 test days.
After that, manufacturers were able to test with their
partner teams. Honda’s new 2.2-liter V6 turbo took an
How are the Chevrolet
and Lotus engines
I expect to see Chevy run
at the end of September, and Lotus
will debut mid- to late-November.
Will a second car be made for
testing the Chevy, or will it be
installed in this prototype?
This prototype belongs to Dallara.
Each of the engine manufacturers
have a prototype in production. Both
Chevy and Lotus will receive a
chassis and start working with a
mock-up engine to work out their
routings of pipes and wires, etc.
They’ll do that in Dallara Italy before
shipping them over to Dallara USA.
So what’s the timeline for this
Within the next six weeks, we need to
have visited all the types of circuits
that we run on. We’d like to do one
more road course test before going to
an oval – potentially Barber and then
Texas (BELOW). We want to run the
car at speed and know we’re happy
with how it performs, and test it
under load before we go to any oval.
Sebring is typically one of the best
circuits for simulating a street course
in terms of its bumps. But we also
need to cover the short ovals, the
1.5-milers, and the road courses. And
then Indy as well.
Will Bryan and Dan Wheldon be
running the first Chevy and Lotus
No, Bryan Herta Autosport is
contracted to run the prototype for
IndyCar and Dallara, and it happened
to be the Honda engine that was
ready first. Once testing for us is
completed at the end of September,
their involvement in the prototype
running will stop, and manufacturers
can use any of their assigned teams
to help them run their cars.