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2010 A new beginning

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  • 2010 A new beginning

    My roadmap for growth in the unified Indy Car series.

    Step 1.

    A new car that is high horsepower, any aero aids must be incorporated into the body work. Its a low downforce car, that relies on mechanical grip to make it hold in the corners. I am thinking 1970's style cars, with sidepods for safety. They will have a distinctive retro Indy Car look that will separate it from the run of the mill formula spec racer that we have today.

    The tub will be a common piece, but body work, as long as it conforms to the rules can be built by anyone.

    Everything made out of foamed aluminum.

    Figure out a way, even if its tube frames, to significantly reduce cost.

    Reason: Put the car back in the driver's hands. By eliminating the aero advantage it decreases the perceived requirement that you have to drive an formula spec racer from the time you are conceived. The car will be fast on straights, and a challenge in the corners. For both ovals and road courses.

    Step 2.

    Get back to large fields on ovals and real road courses. No more streets. The cars will allow drivers from all over, from all disciplines to get in them and be fast. They will be a halfway point between the formula spec racer and the front engine short track car. International competition, from drivers of all backgrounds, none of which need to bring a check to race, will drive fan interest to the point where you will have paying customers in the stands at real race tracks, not manufactured events.

    Step 3.

    Promote the hell out of the return to the Indy Heritage. Indy has always been about great drivers from the US racing against great drivers from around the world.

    Why it will work...

    NASCAR has a good model to start from. They race on tracks that American's like.. (ovals). They have a lot of popular personalities, that Americans identify with.

    Where NASCAR leaves room for improvement is their declining emphasis on racing, and increasing emphasis on manipulation for the show. I believe that there is a significant portion of race fans out there who want to see cars go blazingly fast (which Cup cars don't), put on tight good racing, without all the drama and random rules of NASCAR that manipulates results. But these fans also want to see guys who came from their local tracks, or at least some one else's local tracks racing each other AND drivers from other disciplines.

    But it all starts with a new Indy Car that

    A) reduces the cost of competition so new blood can get into the owner ranks
    B) Gets rid of the perceived notion that US short trackers can't drive aero cars by getting rid of a lot of the aero
    C) Still goes fast (220-230 at Indy) but is made out of materials and designs that are still safe.

  • #2
    Going to tueb frames are a waste of time. For starters carbon chassis are now pretty cost effective and they are far stronger than tubeframe cars. Alantics use a carbon chassis. Daytona Prototypes are Tube frame and they are pretty darn expensive. I would be fine with a car that looks similar to the old Reynard champcar. Its a car that looks at home on both ovals and road type tracks. Street tracks have a place in IndyCar Racing.

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    • #3
      Are Penske, Ganassi, Andretti and Rahal all going to retire?

      Here is what 2010 is more likely to look like...

      Nothing is going to change. They'll design some new generation formula car, that does all the same things that every other formula car ever has. Maybe, they will give it some cool name or some cool slogan, to try and trick their fans, as its something "revolutionary".

      There will be about 5-6 ovals left and about 5-6 (maybe) American drivers left. Half of the American drivers left, will have their daddy own the car for them.

      Ratings will still be miles behind NASCAR (and about equal with minor league NASCAR series) in ratings and American interest, despite the "unity and togetherness" that permeates today. That will likely be gone by about late April of this year. Robin Miller will still blame "The Split" for the lack of interest.

      Bryan Clauson will wheel his Cup car into Victory Lane at Daytona in 2010, and the Hoosier state will see another USAC star, graduate to the big-time. He will tell the press that he grew up actually wanting to be a Indy-Car driver (which he did), but only had interest from NASCAR folks to continue his career. The 100 or so fans left on the TrackForum IRL page, will tell each other that he wasn't ever good enough to race in the IRL anyway and that "he didn't do the neccessary things" to become a IRL driver.

      Dani Patrick will come home 40th at Daytona, barely edging out Kyle Petty, Steven Wallace and Scott Speed at the line. She will storm off, telling the press "I am competitive and I just really, really want to win".
      IRL 2009: "Cars you can't see, driven by drivers you have never heard of, on a network you don't get"

      "I'd hire your grandmother, if she brought a budget"- Bankrupt Indy Car team owner Tyler Tadevic, to Curt Cavin in December, on the tough standards he looks for when "hiring" driver talent.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by CorvetteFan
        Going to tueb frames are a waste of time. For starters carbon chassis are now pretty cost effective and they are far stronger than tubeframe cars. Alantics use a carbon chassis. Daytona Prototypes are Tube frame and they are pretty darn expensive. I would be fine with a car that looks similar to the old Reynard champcar. Its a car that looks at home on both ovals and road type tracks. Street tracks have a place in IndyCar Racing.

        Wish I could recall the guys name.. but one of the rather more well known formula car builders said tube frames were an acceptable way to go for the future. So, while not conventional wisdom, its not a dumb idea.

        Carbon Fiber is NOT cost effective. Its an expensive, time consuming process. If you can't shape it or work with it easily at the shop, its not the right stuff to use.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by CorvetteFan
          Going to tueb frames are a waste of time. For starters carbon chassis are now pretty cost effective and they are far stronger than tubeframe cars. Alantics use a carbon chassis. Daytona Prototypes are Tube frame and they are pretty darn expensive. I would be fine with a car that looks similar to the old Reynard champcar. Its a car that looks at home on both ovals and road type tracks. Street tracks have a place in IndyCar Racing.
          This is at least misleading and at worst just wrong. Correct me if I am wrong but your personal credentials as a car builder and/or designer are more or less like mine. I wouldn't get in a car that I designed and built even if it didn't have a motor.
          1. Tube frames are not a waste of time according to Bruce Ashmore and macmiller, both of whom are very qualified to make that assertion.
          2. If carbon chassis are so cost effective then why do they still cost so much?
          2a. CF shouldn't be so costly. I've done the hours of research and while it's not a cheap material it is not so expensive to justify the cost that the current chassis builders charge.
          3. Again according to Bruce Ashmore and macmiller they are NOT far stronger than a tube chassis.
          4. True. And that means they cost far more than they should.
          5. True again, however they are built by companies that are used to charging much higher prices for their cars and marketed to customers that are used to paying much higher prices as well.
          6. Get 100 of those Reynards with a roller price of $100K and I'd be fine with it too.
          Some people will do nearly anything in order to be able to not do anything.

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          • #6
            #6 is the key to the whole deal......

            And cheap and good spares.

            And either sealed engines which are no bother for the team or open engines which mechanics can rebuild themselves....

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            • #7
              I see I made a foamed aluminum convert! Nothing wrong with your ideas, sc, but I would prefer the hydraulic wings a la WSSRL that lay down and increase top speed on the straights and raise and increase cornering speed as the car slows.

              Heck, why not both kinds...

              I think a good engine would be the 420-somethings - just to tell the F1 people that we use a 7 liter engine as opposed to a 2.48 and shrinking.

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