Delta Wing Indycar concept unveiled

Indycar
Delta Wing Indycar concept unveiled
The Delta Wing Indycar concept was revealed on Tuesday at the Chicago Auto Show. Designed by former Lola designer and current Chip Ganassi engineer Ben Bowlby, the Delta Wing aims to revolutionise Indycar racing in 2012, with a low-drag design that eliminates front wings and places the front wheels close together beneath the nose.
The car literally looks like a Delta Wing and has been conceived to encourage close racing and more passing. It’s also much lighter than a current Indycar – 1000lbs versus 1500lbs – and is much more aerodynamically efficient because of reduced rolling and aerodynamic resistance from the front wheels and the absence of front wings. Chip Ganassi says Bowlby’s numbers indicate the car could lap a Superspeedway at 230mph with only 350bhp. “That should encourage a wider selection of engines, and they should be much less stressed and able to run at lower rpm,” he said.
Last week the IRL announced its design parameters for the 2012 Indycar as follows:
• Safety: the new chassis must adhere to the league’s already high safety standards while exploring new technology to improve safety in all aspects of the car.
• Raceable: the new chassis must continue to produce the exciting racing that has become a signature of the IZOD IndyCar Series while not affecting other cars on track (i.e. less sensitive to the turbulence).
• Cost-effective: the league continues to work to reduce the cost of participation for teams in the IZOD IndyCar Series, which remains an important priority in this economic climate. The new chassis must have a price point that adheres to that goal.
• American-made: the new chassis must be built in the US, preferably at an Indiana-based facility.
• Less mass/more efficient: a lighter chassis with less mass that produces the same aerodynamic effect in an efficient way.
• Relevant technology: the league would like the new chassis to be relevant to the future of the consumer auto industry; innovative technology that is born on the race track and can translate to consumer cars.
• Modern look: more space for sponsor logos, cars easily identifiable.
• Green: the Indy Racing League prides itself on maintaining its position as a leader in environmentally-friendly initiatives with this chassis.
At this stage the IRL is considering proposals from Dallara, Delta Wing, Lola and Swift. Delta Wing is a consortium of current Indycar teams led by Ganassi and including Roger Penske. The other teams, Penske included, have examined and validated Bowlby’s CFD numbers for the Delta Wing design.
Thanks to its reduced weight and aerodynamic drag, Bowlby’s design will accelerate and brake much more rapidly than a current Indycar. The car will also incorporate the latest in carbon-fibre technology to produce a more elastic and crash-resistant chassis. Ganassi has been talking to potential manufacturers near his home in Pennsylvania and across the American mid-west. He adds that Delta Wing’s goal is to have multiple manufacturers build competing versions of the concept.
Peter Gibbons, Andretti Autosports’ technical director, has been in the sport for more than 30 years. He hopes the IRL selects Bowlby’s Delta Wing design for its new car. “If they don’t, then at some point fairly soon it’s over,” he said. “We’ve got to take a major step and think way ahead. We need some relevancy. There’s no relevancy in what we’re doing and even less with what NASCAR is doing. When gas is eight dollars a gallon, which isn’t far off, and we’re still pounding around in these fat, horrible, heavy cars, we’re in trouble.”
IRL champion Dario Franchitti agrees: “All I know is the Delta Wing is innovative and that’s what we need. We’ve got to bring innovation back to the sport and the Delta Wing will do it. I hope it happens.”

The Delta Wing Indycar concept was revealed on Tuesday at the Chicago Auto Show. Designed by former Lola designer and current Chip Ganassi engineer Ben Bowlby, the Delta Wing aims to revolutionise Indycar racing in 2012, with a low-drag design that eliminates front wings and places the front wheels close together beneath the nose.

deltawing

The car literally looks like a Delta Wing and has been conceived to encourage close racing and more passing. It’s also much lighter than a current Indycar – 1000lbs versus 1500lbs – and is much more aerodynamically efficient because of reduced rolling and aerodynamic resistance from the front wheels and the absence of front wings. Chip Ganassi says Bowlby’s numbers indicate the car could lap a Superspeedway at 230mph with only 350bhp. “That should encourage a wider selection of engines, and they should be much less stressed and able to run at lower rpm,” he said.

deltawing2

Last week the IRL announced its design parameters for the 2012 Indycar as follows:

• Safety: the new chassis must adhere to the league’s already high safety standards while exploring new technology to improve safety in all aspects of the car.

• Raceable: the new chassis must continue to produce the exciting racing that has become a signature of the IZOD IndyCar Series while not affecting other cars on track (i.e. less sensitive to the turbulence).

• Cost-effective: the league continues to work to reduce the cost of participation for teams in the IZOD IndyCar Series, which remains an important priority in this economic climate. The new chassis must have a price point that adheres to that goal.

• American-made: the new chassis must be built in the US, preferably at an Indiana-based facility.

• Less mass/more efficient: a lighter chassis with less mass that produces the same aerodynamic effect in an efficient way.

• Relevant technology: the league would like the new chassis to be relevant to the future of the consumer auto industry; innovative technology that is born on the race track and can translate to consumer cars.

• Modern look: more space for sponsor logos, cars easily identifiable.

• Green: the Indy Racing League prides itself on maintaining its position as a leader in environmentally-friendly initiatives with this chassis.

deltawing3

At this stage the IRL is considering proposals from Dallara, Delta Wing, Lola and Swift. Delta Wing is a consortium of current Indycar teams led by Ganassi and including Roger Penske. The other teams, Penske included, have examined and validated Bowlby’s CFD numbers for the Delta Wing design.

Thanks to its reduced weight and aerodynamic drag, Bowlby’s design will accelerate and brake much more rapidly than a current Indycar. The car will also incorporate the latest in carbon-fibre technology to produce a more elastic and crash-resistant chassis. Ganassi has been talking to potential manufacturers near his home in Pennsylvania and across the American mid-west. He adds that Delta Wing’s goal is to have multiple manufacturers build competing versions of the concept.

Peter Gibbons, Andretti Autosports’ technical director, has been in the sport for more than 30 years. He hopes the IRL selects Bowlby’s Delta Wing design for its new car. “If they don’t, then at some point fairly soon it’s over,” he said. “We’ve got to take a major step and think way ahead. We need some relevancy. There’s no relevancy in what we’re doing and even less with what NASCAR is doing. When gas is eight dollars a gallon, which isn’t far off, and we’re still pounding around in these fat, horrible, heavy cars, we’re in trouble.”

IRL champion Dario Franchitti agrees: “All I know is the Delta Wing is innovative and that’s what we need. We’ve got to bring innovation back to the sport and the Delta Wing will do it. I hope it happens.”

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