News & Multimedia

New Aero Kit Test Sets Stage for Wild Indy 500 in 2018

James Hinchcliffe says he learns something every time he gets to get behind the wheel of his Verizon IndyCar Series car.

Because of that, he’s been relishing his role as one of the two drivers tabbed by Honda to conduct manufacturer aero kit testing for the car that will debut in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

Thursday’s test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was Hinchcliffe’s latest learning opportunity and the first test of the new car at Indianapolis since it made its public debut there in July.

“On ovals, it’s been such a smooth transition (from the previous car),” said Hinchcliffe, who won the pole for the 100th Indianapolis 500 in 2016. “INDYCAR has done such a good job getting the balance right and getting the downforce level correct, that for us it’s just a matter of finding out what this car likes and what makes it tick.”

Hinchcliffe along with Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing were meant to spend a full day of testing on the famed 2.5-mile oval. But cool morning temperatures kept the pair off of the track until just after noon. Still the drivers were able to run productive laps until 6 p.m, with each logging more than 130 laps for the day, according to information provided by Honda.

“It’s just about trying to find that happy medium,” Dixon said. “We’ve lost a lot of downforce (from the old car), but I think biggest thing for us is that the weight distribution is moved forward and there’s a lot more weight on the front tires. In traffic, it was more difficult, but that’s standard. When we come back here next May, we’ll know how to make it work mechanically, and it will be very good. But for the first go and working with James, it was all very smooth.”

While most of day was spent running individually, the drivers ran a little in tandem to simulate running in traffic.

“Scott and I got to run nose-to-tail a little bit, not a ton, and there’s work to do there, but first impressions are really good,” Hinchcliffe said.

“One of the big things we’re finding with this car is the rate which it is able to close up on the car in front is much faster. I know we have a ton of passing the racing has been great with the old kit and, but that’s because he had the cars so good that we could drive into a corner half a car length off the car in front.

“I feel like (this car) will be a different look. (Racing) will look more like it did in the early 90s. You may have more room (between cars) in the corners, but the hole that’s punched in front will be bigger. That’s going to lead to more passing, and safer passing too. You’ll be able to set up passes better and set up more traditional passing. It will be a much better racing car and I think it will be a little bit more forgiving for (the drivers) so it will be safer. It really does check all the boxes.”


Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
2018 INDYCAR Aero Kit Test
 
New Aero Kit Test Sets Stage for Wild Indy 500 in 2018
James Hinchcliffe says he learns something every time he gets to get behind the wheel of his Verizon IndyCar Series car. Because of that, he’s been relishing his role as one of the two drivers tabbed by Honda to conduct manufacturer aero kit testing for the car that will debut in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season.
Read More
Related Media
James Hinchcliffe
 
Shell-Shocked Hinchcliffe, SPM Team Cope with Unexpected Bump from Field
As James Hinchcliffe searched for the words to describe the depths of his disappointment in failing to qualify Saturday for the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, he had the presence of mind to offer a more painful big-picture perspective.
Read More
Davison Qual
 
Sleepless Night Helps Byrd Team Put Davison in Show, Continue Family Legacy
David Byrd has experienced enough history in more than three decades of racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to realize his Saturday qualifying situation was somewhat iffy for the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
Read More
Danica Patrick
 
Danica Relieved after Finding Speed to Qualify for Fast Nine Shootout
In April, Danica Patrick stepped into a car at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time in seven years. She only got to 208 mph, then wondered if the Indy 500 might be out of reach.
Read More
Castroneves Bump Day
 
Castroneves Fastest, Hinchcliffe Bumped in Wild Indy 500 Qualifying Day
The first day of qualifying for the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil was an emotional roller coaster. It had nail-biting four-lap attempts, rain delays that threw a wrench into strategies, last-minute bids to bump into the field and ultimate heartbreak for those left on the outside looking in.
Read More
Rain Delay
 
Rain Delays First Day of Indianapolis 500 Qualifying
Opening-day qualifications for the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil are in a holding pattern after a short shower halted activities at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Ten drivers completed successful qualifying attempts before the rain began falling at 11:52 a.m. ET.
Read More
Items 11 - 15 of 1,696