a REaSON tO bE diffERENt
The road to creating the next Indy car has
been defined by IndyCar’s competition
group, and with three seasons left to run
on the Dallara DW12 chassis and 2.2-liter
turbocharged V6 formula, Derrick Walker
intends to spend a full year developing the
concept with input from his paddock.
“When you back up from 2018, certainly
within the next 12 months we have to be
thinking and developing a plan that says,
‘This is what we’re going to do, this is
where we’re going with the sport,’ and build
it into the new car and engine,” says
Walker. “That’s the timeframe for change.
“We introduced the concept to the
owners so they can think about the future
of their current cars, and how we should go
about building the next car – call it the
DW18 chassis, per se – what it will be and
what new things we should consider.”
By starting the process in 2014, Walker
will have more than enough time to shape
the DW18’s performance, safety, powertrain
options and possible areas of innovation.
“We proposed to the team owners – just
food for thought because it wasn’t an
If all goes to plan, a new IndyCar chassis will debut in 2018. Preliminary conceptualizing is already under way.
official proposal in any way – that we would
take one year to actually evolve the options
or ideas for them to consider,” Walker
explains “If they endorse it or wish to see it
implemented in some form, then from there
we’d start developing and eventually end up
with a new car on track in ’ 18.”
Walker’s reference to the new car as a
DW18 isn’t a nod to Dallara being the
automatic choice to build it. But the shrinking
base of constructors with previous Indy car
experience would seem to put the Italian firm
in pole position. Swift’s motorsports interests
have dwindled in recent years, leaving
Multimatic, which took over Lola, as the only
other firm that possibly fits the criteria.
The supply contract would need to be
confirmed by late 2016 to have a
prototype out and testing by the middle of
’ 17, and while some adjustments to
IndyCar’s engine formula could be made,
sweeping changes requiring brand-new
motors might not fit the budget limitations
faced by Chevy and Honda. However,
augmenting the existing turbo V6s with
hybrid ERS systems is a strong likelihood.
For IndyCar president of competition
Derrick Walker, the journey to a new
racecar for 2018 starts right now.
After making its race debut in the 2012
IndyCar season-opener at St. Pete (ABOVE),
the base Dallara DW12 chassis will have
served six seasons by the time its planned
replacement comes on stream in 2018.