Numerically, Chip Ganassi Racing and Team Penske lead
the way on Chevrolet’s IndyCar Series roster, fielding four
entries apiece (RIGH T, Penske’s Juan Pablo Montoya).
didn’t have any track record goals.”
But that’s not to say that Chevy didn’t
have some clear competitive objectives in
mind. At the pinnacle of all of them is the
Indy 500, and Berube admits that the
Month of May was a strong consideration
during the design of the various
components shared by both the road
course/short oval and superspeedway kits.
“We certainly put a high priority on the
Indy 500 and made sure that we had that
at the top of the list of optimization points,”
he says. “So any time a road course goal
started to conflict with that, we had to
take a very hard look at it and determine
Chevrolet’s technical guys will measure
the success of their kits in the most direct
way: by whether they win or not. But,
bigger picture, there are of course other
considerations: Will the quality of the
racing be as good as ever? Will race fans
Designing an aero kit
is a cyclical process of
constantly iterating and
improving on a theme,
but it can be broken down
into a few broad steps.
...confirming their validity
with real parts on a real car.
If not, it’s back around the
loop until the tech team is
satisfied it has a kit that will
deliver on its design goals.
DOING IT FOR REAL
Test parts are produced using
rapid prototyping and tested
in a 50 percent- (ABOVE)
and full-scale rolling-road
wind tunnel. If the results are
good enough, next step is...
INTO THE TUNNEL
After analyzing the DW12 and
establishing design goals,
(CAD) and computational
fluid dynamics (CFD) are
used to model an aero kit.
THE VIRTUAL PART
JIM CAMPBELL, CHEVROLET
“FOR US IT’S FUNCTION AND FORM
TOGETHER. IF YOU’RE ALL FORM AND
NO FUNCTION, YOU’RE NOT GOING
TO WIN ON THE RACE TRACK”
Chevy first revealed its 2015 aero kit as
a rendering. Its Dallara DW12 core is still
recognizable, but the changes to front and
rear wings and sidepods are significant.
feel an affinity with one or other
manufacturer as they go head to head?
Or, rather, endplate to endplate?
For Campbell, there’s no question that
the kit his team has conceived works in
an aesthetic sense, but he knows that
performance is the ultimate driving
factor. Deliver on both and it’s a win-win
for Chevrolet and IndyCar fans.
“For us, it’s function and form together,”
he says. “We have to deliver on both.
I personally think the car is beautiful, but
if you’re all form and no function, you’re
not going to win on the track.
“The new aero kits are a great
storyline,” he adds. “It’s about innovation.
It’s about speed. It’s about faster lap
times. That was what we were looking for
as we thought about coming back into
the series. We got all of that with the
engines, and now we have it with the
aero kits, too. This is exciting.”