At the recent IndyCar Series media day at Indianapolis Motorspeedway, Chevrolet became the first manufacturer to unveil its aerokit for the Dallara DW-12.
The kit is intended for road and street course applications, as well as short ovals, a further speedway configuration is scheduled to be unveiled ahead of its competitive debut in May at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.
“This is an important milestone in Chevrolet’s involvement in IndyCar racing,” explained Jim Campbell, GM’s U.S. vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports. “We focused on developing an aerodynamic package that delivers an optimal balance of downforce and drag, along with integrated engine performance. It’s a total performance package.”
The road, street course and short oval configuration’s changes over the outgoing car’s package are easily identified. The front wing features new pedestal-mounted “front uppers” toward the outer edges, new sculpted “wheel wedges” in front of the rear tires, and an engine cover and sidepods that have more compact shapes, achieved through a revised turbocharger and exhaust system layout.
These are used in conjunction with new larger rear bumper pods and a multi-element upper rear wing, along with louvered end plates (above) to deliver higher levels of downforce on the more technical circuits.
“When we decided to come back into the series leading into 2012, we really worked with IndyCar on a few priorities,” Campbell said. “We love the engine formula in this series, smaller displacement engines, direct injection, boosting, turbo charging, use of smaller V6 powerful engines, then use of a biofuel. We came with a 2.2-liter twin-turbo direct-injector V6. That was one of the key reasons we came back in the series and why we still love the series. It relates to what we sell in the showrooms that delivers that great combination of power, fuel economy and durability.
“Secondly, we were looking to bring world-class racing to the City of Detroit with Belle Isle. We appreciate the support of IndyCar to make that happen. We’ll be kicking off our fourth season. “Finally, we wanted to come back in IndyCar because we had the opportunity to develop aero kits. It was our opportunity to differentiate our look, drive innovation, look for ways to improve performance and speed, lap times. That’s exactly what we’ve been doing.”
The speedway aero kits are to be delivered to teams April 1. Honda Performance Development is tentatively scheduled to unveil its road/street course and short oval aero kit March 15 at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum.