News & Multimedia

IndyCar Opens Way For Innovation In Speed, Safety

INDYCAR will open the door to increased technical innovation in its cars and continue its longstanding effort to improve safety in open-wheel racing, Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles and incoming INDYCAR President of Operations and Competition Derrick Walker announced May 23.

Walker will be responsible for identifying specific technology improvements and guiding their implementation, with the goal of managed increases in speed.

“In the short term, we’ll look for incremental changes to our cars through components such as aerodynamics, horsepower and tires,” Walker said. “In a way, we’re going back to the future. Indy cars have always been about innovation and speed, and our goal is to open the door for that again. We’ll start with our current car platform and give our teams and suppliers more ability to affect how they race. We always have to be mindful of costs, but that doesn’t mean we can’t manage improvements to create more exciting racing and at the same time do it safely.”

Miles said there have been many breakthroughs in Indy car speeds over the decades, but it has been 17 years since Arie Luyendyk set the last record at Indianapolis.

“We’ve achieved a great car platform, so now we can move forward to explore what’s next,” Miles said. “By managing improvements in certain components, speeds will gradually increase, and we could break the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track record by our 100th running in 2016.”

“We already race the fastest closed-circuit cars in the world, and we continue to strive for further innovation that ultimately results in increased speed and safety,” said 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay. “This is an opportunity for us to go back to our roots. Indy car is all about the progression of speed and pushing the performance barrier, and I strongly feel that this needs to be a big part of the future of our sport. The sooner we can get going, the sooner we can have a shot at Arie’s record. It’s been standing for far too long.”

Walker and Miles made the announcement against a backdrop of IMS historical innovations in speed and safety: the roadster Parnelli Jones used to break the 150-mph barrier in 1962, Tom Sneva’s 1984 March/Cosworth that first broke 210 mph at IMS; the Reynard/Ford Cosworth in which Luyendyk set the one-lap track record of 237.498 mph in 1996 and the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series-winning car driven by Hunter-Reay. Also present were a section of the SAFER Barrier, a revolutionary track safety development initiated by INDYCAR and IMS, and fire suits, which drivers at IMS were among the first to use.

Walker said the technical staff at INDYCAR, teams and suppliers -- with support from members of the newly formed Competition Committee -- will be engaged in the measured innovation efforts. Walker said the first substantive announcement, likely about aero kits, will be made soon.

Potential safety innovations could come in the form of new types of track fencing to protect drivers and fans, more precautions on pit lane and continued driver compartment safety enhancements.

In March, INDYCAR announced the formation of an advisory Competition Committee to formalize communications among industry stakeholders on competition and technical matters. The committee, which met earlier today, will advise INDYCAR on competition-related matters such as rules, technical specifications and safety initiatives.

Members of the INDYCAR Competition Committee for 2013 have been finalized. They are:

  • Derrick Walker (chair), incoming INDYCAR President, Operations and Competition
  • Roger Griffiths, Honda Performance Development Technical Division Director
  • Chris Berube, Chevrolet Program Manager, IZOD IndyCar Series
  • Andrea Toso, Dallara Head of R&D and U.S. Racing Business Leader
  • Dale Harrigle, Firestone Senior Project Engineer, Race Tire Development
  • Dario Franchitti, Target Chip Ganassi Racing Driver (Honda)
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport Driver (Chevrolet)
  • Tim Cindric, Penske Racing President (Chevrolet team)
  • Bryan Herta, Bryan Herta Autosport Owner (Honda team)
  • Brian Barnhart, INDYCAR Senior Vice President of Operations
  • Will Phillips, INDYCAR Vice President of Technology
Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
IndyCar Opens Way For Innovation In Speed, Safety
 
IndyCar Opens Way For Innovation In Speed, Safety
INDYCAR will open the door to increased technical innovation in its cars and continue its longstanding effort to improve safety in open-wheel racing, Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles and incoming INDYCAR President of Operations and Competition Derrick Walker announced May 23.
Read More
Related Media
James Hinchcliffe
 
James Hinchcliffe to Star in ABC's 'Dancing with the Stars' This Fall
The Mayor is going dancing. Verizon IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe was named today as a member of the Season 23 cast for "Dancing with the Stars," the hit ABC dance competition partnering celebrities with professional dancers that begins Sept. 12.
Read More
Courtney Force and Graham Rahal
 
Rahal Claims Closest Texas Motor Speedway Finish in Firestone 600
The Firestone 600, begun on June 12 but paused after heavy rainfall, resumed Saturday night after a 76-day postponement with Hinchcliffe (No. 5 Arrow Electronics Honda) leading the field to the restart on Lap 74. The remaining 174 laps provided an absolute thrill show as Hinchcliffe and Rahal (No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda) duked it out to the checkered flag, with Rahal sweeping past Hinchcliffe in Turn 3 on the final lap that gave him the advantage to earn his fourth career win in electrifying fashion.
Read More
Kyle Larson
 
Larson Gets First Sprint Cup Win at Michigan
The victory came in Larson's 99th start in the series, long after most observers expected Larson to record his first win. It also broke a 99-race drought for Chip Ganassi Racing, dating to Jamie McMurray's victory at Talladega in October 2013.
Read More
Ed Carpenter
 
Pruett's Preview: Firestone 600, Continued
With the Verizon IndyCar Series and TMS left to halt the race after 72 laps (173 kilometers) and multiple delays due to bad weather, the ninth race on the 2016 tour will take the green flag after a 78-day hold. And with 177 laps (427km) left to complete, teams will receive two brief 10-minute warmup sessions before the field is placed into the positions each driver held on the last lap in June and sent into furious action at 9 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
Read More
Indy 500
 
101st Indianapolis 500, Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis Highlighting 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series May Schedule
The series released its full 2017 schedule and it includes the iconic 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on May 28 and the fourth annual Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 13.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,307
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
RT @SpeedwayPD: Mustang Club of America to Host 40th Anniversary Event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway https://t.co/z19YMUBZy2 via @next…
about 12 minutes ago