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
Crown Royal Armed Forces Qualifying Weekend
 
Bumping Is Back on Crown Royal Armed Forces Day Qualifying Weekend
There are two unique challenges within the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil this year, the 500-mile run for racing immortality and a spot on the Borg-Warner Trophy on Sunday, May 27 and the 10-mile dash to earn one of the coveted 33 spots in the starting field on Bump Day, Saturday, May 19.
Read More
Indianapolis 500
 
IndyCar Stars To Help Fliers Find Fast Lane in New TSA Videos at Indianapolis Airport
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Indianapolis Airport Authority and Hulman Motorsports have teamed up with 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi, 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden, 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series champion Simon Pagenaud and 2016 Indianapolis 500 pole winner James Hinchcliffe to provide passengers a series of helpful video instructions for easy TSA checkpoint screening.
Read More
Danny Sullivan
 
Memory Lane | 'Spin and Win' Danny Sullivan, 1985 Indy 500
One of the most memorable moments in Indianapolis 500 history unfolded in a split-second. Sullivan's Team Penske car wiggled to the right in the short chute between Turns 1 and 2 and then did a complete 360-degree spin to the left, almost invisible in a huge cloud of tire smoke. The legend of the 'Spin and Win' was forever etched into the rich lore of the Indianapolis 500.
Read More
Graham Rahal
 
Rahal Jumps to Top of Charts at 226; Kanaan Lurks as Speedy Threat
Graham Rahal jumped to the top spot in practice Thursday for the 102nd Indianapolis 500, but Tony Kanaan continues to lurk as one of the fastest drivers this week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Read More
Fittipaldi Presser
 
Rookie Fittipaldi Working Hard, Ahead of Recovery Schedule after Tough Break
Pietro Fittipaldi is still squirming in a wheelchair, but epitomizing the predictably optimistic perspective of a racer, he’s pushing to get back on a racetrack as soon as possible.
Read More
Items 17 - 21 of 1,693