Wheldon tests new Dallara
The all-new 2012 Dallara Indycar has finally hit the track. The one-make racer, known at Dallara as the IR12, was given a shakedown by the Italian constructor at the Vairano test circuit at the end of July before being shipped to the US.
The car, powered by Honda’s new 2.2-litre turbocharged Indycar engine, then began testing in earnest at Mid-Ohio at the start of August with Dan Wheldon driving (above).
The key design features of the IR12, which ran in road course/street trim at Mid-Ohio, can be seen in the first photographs. Front and rear wings are smaller because the car has ground-effect venturis rather than a flat bottom and the bodywork is designed to make interlocking wheels less likely. Tony Cotman, who is project manager for the 2012 car said: “It’s a great day; it is the
start of a new era for the IndyCar Series.”
IndyCar will undertake 12 days of testing with the first chassis at a mixture of road courses and ovals. In October the first cars will be handed over to the lead teams of the three engine manufacturers producing newgeneration units — Honda, Chevrolet and Lotus — before chassis are delivered to the remainder of the grid in December.
IndyCar has confirmed that it has set back its plan to allow bodykits to be produced for the Dallara chassis until 2013. Series boss Randy Bernhard said that the decision had been made for reasons of “cost containment”. Chevrolet and Lotus have committed to producing their own bodywork for the car, while the French ORECA organisation is evaluating the production of an aero package. Dan Wheldon interview, page 64