Welcome to the RACER Mailbag. Questions for any of RACER’s writers will be despatched to firstname.lastname@example.org. Because of the excessive quantity of questions obtained, we are able to’t assure that each letter shall be revealed, however we’ll reply as many as we are able to. Printed questions could also be edited for size and readability. Questions obtained after 3pm ET every Monday will seem the next week.
Q: Everybody has questions on a brand new IndyCar. Why doesn’t somebody re-engineer the DP01? After the Katherine Legge crash at Street America, it does have a sturdy security cell, and if keep in mind appropriately, it was designed with potential oval use in thoughts. My opinion is that it was the best-looking open-wheeler.
Dino, New Hanover, PA
MARSHALL PRUETT: And each driver who raced Champ Automobile’s 2007 Panoz DP01 that went to the IndyCar Sequence and the previous Dallara chassis after which the brand new Dallara DW12 mentioned the DP01 was the right automotive.
I’m hardly ever a “Let’s return in time to resolve right this moment’s issues” type of man, however I do assume the designers of the DW29 or no matter 12 months it arrives can be clever to purchase a DP01 and research every part about it. Elegant aero and mechanical steadiness; seemed nice and made for nice racing. Updating a automotive from 2007 isn’t the reply, but when Dallara may deliver its spirit ahead into it’s subsequent chassis, that may be superb.
Q: Why isn’t the “Ed Carpenter runs ovals and Simona De Silvestro runs the remainder” association taking place once more? It appeared like ECR was the right place for the female-forward Paretta Autosport. ECR advanced from Sarah Fisher Racing, and it was Carpenter who gave Danica Patrick her final trip at Indy, so clearly ECR has no subject with working/working with girls. It could be a wise setup even when Ed employed Simona instantly.
IndyCar basically is lacking the boat on this space. Final time anyone checked, girls account for simply over 50% of the inhabitants, and wouldn’t it’s good to recruit an entire new fan base of women and girls? Was it 5 – 6 girls that ran at Indy one 12 months? No want for tokenism, both. Whereas none besides Patrick bought a top-tier trip, there was good success by girls drivers given the prospect. Sarah Fisher ran properly, and given an excellent automotive Simona would have stood on the rostrum quite a few occasions.
I’m beginning to violate my very own pet peeve about mailbox questions being extra soapbox rants, so I’ll depart it with, “why not a much bigger effort in the direction of feminine drivers?”
Rob Stone, Culpeper, VA
MP: I hear what you’re saying, Rob. What involves thoughts right here is sure, IndyCar needs to be doing extra to help girls racers by the extraordinarily particular “Race For Equality & Change” program it selected to create to handle such issues. What additionally involves thoughts is IndyCar additionally has 10 full-time groups, lots of whom have sponsors and companions who would profit from initiating their very own RFEC-type applications to develop girls racers — and that’s every part from drivers to mechanics to engineers and each different function — and racers of coloration.
So, sure, IndyCar’s kicking ass on the subject of creating and advancing Black racers by the RFEC, but it surely hasn’t taken the identical aggressive strategy to creating extra girls racers. I hope that improves, clearly, however reasonably than place an expectation for IndyCar to resolve each subject, this looks like one which improves quickly if all 10 groups take part and assist the sequence.
Q: Penske, Ganassi, and Shank have all been concerned with IMSA prototypes, joined now by Rahal and Andretti. I might assume they’ve all seen how the brand new GTP laws have led to a rise in producer involvement and pleasure, and they’d be pushing for comparable modifications with IndyCar. Are they pushing? If not, why not? They actually have seen the outcomes.
My cynical aspect additionally wonders if Penske purchased IMS and IndyCar just for the Speedway, which is probably the most useful asset. If IndyCar lags behind NASCAR and F1, oh properly, he nonetheless has IMS.
Lastly, a heretical thought. Would IndyCar be higher if NASCAR owned the sequence, since they no less than appear keen to market, experiment, and alter laws as they’ve with IMSA prototypes? I reside within the Miami space and that is probably the most excited I’ve been for IMSA for the reason that Miami GP days with the Porsche 962, Jaguar, Mazda, Nissan, and Toyota.
I agree together with your remark in final week’s Mailbag: IndyCar wants some management from individuals not born final century, or no less than not earlier than 1990. IndyCar has to take the initiative and never wait for brand spanking new producers, and many others. As a earlier reader wrote, I additionally want to see 20 automobiles with extra producers and expertise than 27 spec racers. Ideas?
Rick, Homestead, FL
MP: The explanation we have now half of IndyCar’s full-time entrants concerned in IMSA’s new GTP class is due to the cash these producers are spending to have them run manufacturing facility groups. And it’s good cash. That’s simply the info. If these producers wished IndyCar groups to race procuring carts on their behalf and wrote the identical huge checks, drivers can be strapping in and racing procuring carts. That the GTP method is superior and has attracted numerous producers is only a bonus.
I got here up within the sport the place spec automobiles actually weren’t a factor, so I’ll all the time lean in the direction of individuality, customization, and letting one’s creativity be the core of what you construct or develop. I’ll take that 20 with freedom over 27 which might be spec each time.
Q: This pertains to your response to the January 18 letter from “Bruce” concerning Method E, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway traditionally being a proving floor for automotive expertise, and whether or not there could possibly be a possibility for FE to run at IMS. Particularly, your remark that FE is a “spec sequence” so there wouldn’t be a lot to show at IMS.
This can be splitting hairs, however your remark may probably be re-evaluated. Sure, FE makes use of a spec chassis and battery. Nonetheless, it has seven (sure, that’s seven) OEMs setting up and utilizing their very own drivetrains (engine, inverter, gearbox, electronics) within the sequence. And, all of them go to nice lengths to make use of the sequence to showcase and promote their technological engineering prowess (effectivity/vary) to compete towards one another within the shopper market. Usually, this forefront expertise will get transferred from their race automobiles to their highway automobiles. So one may conclude that Bruce’s thought course of isn’t completely off-base.
From carefully following the letters, feedback, and solutions on this house concerning IndyCar’s lack of ability to safe a 3rd engine producer which is hindering its viability throughout the sport, maybe the trail FE has taken that has led to seven engine producers taking part in and selling the sequence could possibly be utilized to IndyCar? Certain, the associated fee to run a FE automotive is increased. However with the FE price cap, it is available in round 30% increased per automotive than it’s to run a aggressive IndyCar for a season. That’s not insignificant, but in addition not an excessive amount of of a stretch if the objective is to have extra engine producers within the sequence who, in flip, would use it to advertise their highway automobiles, resulting in way more intensive protection/consciousness (and nationwide/world viability?) for IndyCar.
Would FE achieve something now by working at IMS? That’s a bigger matter for dialogue. However Bruce’s suggestion that IMS could possibly be a proving floor for FE’s automotive electrification expertise actually holds some weight.
Daniel Colombo, Toronto
MP: Thanks, Daniel. Heaps to unpack, however I’ll maintain it temporary. Sure, I’m conscious FE has extra freedoms than ever. It nonetheless doesn’t land with me as being significantly attention-grabbing, nor would I ever take a look at the brand new automobiles and say that working them at IMS would join with the Speedway’s unique spirit of innovation. Right now’s IndyCars don’t have a good time that spirit, so my pushback isn’t restricted to FE.
As for all of the producers who’re concerned, it’s the world’s solely all-electric open-wheel sequence. The place else would they become involved?