WILL PHILLIPS IndyCar VP of Technology
IT DID GO WELL, WE LEARNED A LOT. WE’D
LIKE TO HAVE DONE MORE, BUT I THINK
THAT’S ALWAYS THE CASE AT SHAKEDOWNS
(MAIN) One of the car’s best angles… (LEFT) …and in contrast. The rear bumpers are designed to prevent wheel-over-wheel accidents, as seen in the closing moments of the 2010 Indy 500. (MIDDLE) Engineers from several parts-supplying companies attended the car’s first test.(BELOW RIGHT) Cockpit is designed to be not only safer but roomier.
WHO’S SIGNED UP
CHIP GANASSI RACING – The first team to take
Honda to an IndyCar title, CGR won four straight
from 1996 to ’99. If Franchitti takes the 2011
crown, they will have repeated it.
A.J. FOYT ENTERPRISES – Foyt sticks with a
known quantity in an effort to move up the grid.
SAM SCHMIDT MOTORSPORTS – Indy 500
pole-sitting squad recently tested one of Honda’s
favorite sons in Simon Pagenaud.
TEAM PENSKE – “The Captain” returns to GM
power for first time since 2002.
Andretti Autosport and Newman/Haas are the
big fish still in the pond, and it seems likely they
early jump on Chevrolet and Lotus by
being ready in time to power the first
prototype for IndyCar’s project team and
Dallara. Said Griffiths: “I know everybody
says, ‘Honda is getting an advantage.’ Of
course we are! But we were also the first
ones to commit. If GM had committed
ahead of us then they probably would
have been in the car ahead of us.
“The thing is, our responsibility here
is to provide a reliable and stable
platform for IndyCar and Dallara to sort
through their new car,” Griffiths
continued. “It’s not about us doing
engine development at the racetrack.”
Phillips said the test team is working
with the series in defining how much
open testing the teams can have. “We’re
obviously expecting it to be more relaxed,
so we give them more days than in the
recent past, but we can’t just throw it
open otherwise all the talk of controlling
will split between Chevy and Lotus, respectively.
KV Racing Technology may take Chevy, too,
because Judd, rather than Kevin Kalkhoven-
owned Cosworth, will build the Lotus engine.
Elsewhere, Panther and Dreyer & Reinbold
largely stuck with Chevrolet the last time there was
engine competition. HVM, Conquest and Coyne
could be among the last picked. If a Honda spot
is still available, there’s bound to be a scrap for it.