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IndyCar: News and Discussion Thread

 
Old 01-18-2019, 10:26 AM
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https://racer.com/2019/01/17/indycar...peedway-races/

The NTT IndyCar Series will provide its teams with more options to generate downforce at its superspeedway events in Indianapolis, Pocono, and Dallas-Fort Worth.

The change in philosophy comes after consulting IndyCar’s drivers and race engineers on the best way to create more dynamic racing at the Indianapolis 500 and the Pocono 500, in particular, with its new-for-2018 universal aero kit.

Both marquee events fell short of expectations after teams complied with rules calling for reduced downforce; a narrow range of aerodynamic tuning options, especially at the back of the cars with strict limits on rear wing angles, made it difficult to achieve an aero balance that met each driver’s needs.

The new solution offered by IndyCar is to provide more aero tuning freedom in superspeedway trim, specifically through downforce-adding Gurney flaps atop the spec rear wing element at the rear of the Chevy- and Honda-powered Dallara DW12s.

Three 3/8-inch tall flaps, which are optional, have been approved for use that vary in width and downforce production. The first, 13.2 inches wide, adds 50 pounds of downforce. The second, at 24.5 inches wide, provides a 100-pound increase in downforce. And the third, which spans the full width of the wing, offers 200 pounds of downforce.

IndyCar has approved the 50- and 100-pound flaps for Indy, and all three for Pocono. The pieces are not permitted at Texas Motor Speedway.

“They give pretty substantial amounts of downforce because the rear wing is so small,” Simon Pagenaud’s Team Penske Chevy engineer Ben Bretzman told RACER. “This is in response to how we’re going to make the racing better, and I think some of that will also be achieved by the tires Firestone is bringing. I know IndyCar is trying to get to a downforce level where we can have more overall downforce and grip, and this gives us more options to make the cars handle better — especially in traffic.”

Extreme heat at the Indy 500 exacerbated the problem. Teams piled on all the downforce allowed in the rules, and yet, with the hot air serving to reduce overall downforce, all manner of handling imbalances — and numerous crashes — were seen. Bretzman believes the options to add rear downforce, which can be balanced by adding more front wing angle, should improve the situation without giving teams the ability to run excessive downforce.

“It was so hot in the race, and we were maxed out on downforce, so there were things that made it challenging to cope,” he said. “It was very tough to run behind people, and this solution comes from everyone working on it to help improve the show. We’ve had a lot of downforce levels we’ve run at Indy with the DW12, and we have an idea of what we need to put on that good racing, which IndyCar is aiming to hit with the UAK18 kit and these changes.”
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:15 AM
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https://racer.com/2019/01/18/indycar...t-wing-tweaks/

Complementing the new rear downforce options the IndyCar Series has given its teams on superspeedways, one downforce addition and one wing modification have also been ratified for 2019.

With teams calling for an increase in rear downforce, and those requests having been met, a similar need for more front downforce has been met with the option of installing a third piece to the ‘Pocono’ front wing extensions. Despite its small size, the 3/8-inch tall and 5.5-inch wide Gurney flap will generate more downforce across the front axle, and can be used — asymmetrically, if desired — to help improve aerodynamic balance.

“To place more power on the front wing, they’ve allowed the extensions for all tracks, and that should give us the better ability to add downforce if we feel it’s warranted,” Scott Dixon’s championship-winning race engineer Chris Simmons told RACER. “And it’s also meant to improve a driver’s ability to pass on the big ovals by giving that extra front grip.”

Harder racing should come as a byproduct of making more front and rear downforce options available on the superspeedways, and in an effort to curb the problems caused last year when pursuing cars lost front downforce while running in turbulent air, the series has instructed its teams to notch the outer portion of the front speedway wings.

“We did some testing with IndyCar late last year and tried this change,” Simmons added. “IndyCar did some CFD work to find why it wasn’t easy to follow other cars, and one of the studies found the air separated at the edge of the wing next to the end plate, where it stalls, and the solution they came up with was to shorten the chord at the ends of the wing by cutting out the notches, which reduces the stall, cleans up the air and makes the front wing more efficient and consistent for the drivers in traffic.”
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Old 02-13-2019, 10:09 AM
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https://racer.com/2019/02/12/ericsso...vs-f1-at-cota/

Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports rookie Marcus Ericsson competed at Circuit of The Americas last November in a Sauber Formula 1 car, and tells RACER’s Marshall Pruett about the differences found with his No. 7 Dallara-Honda Indy car.
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