Ground(ed) Effects

Indycar and general autosport opinion

Times are changing and, with regard to the IndyCar world, it is no less apparent than on the cusp of this new 2010 season, with new League Title Sponsor IZOD fully activating itself all over the IndyCar landscape. This momentous season will begin on another continent, in another hemisphere (Brazil) and with an other-worldly story playing out concurrently with the racing: this season will see the developing changes to the most identifiable element of the sport itself – the Indy Car.

Tweets, blogs, articles, and message boards have been energized with the recent preliminary chassis designs by four manufacturers and one… designer(?), all of whom will vie to become the next IndyCar chassis slated for 2012. Much debate has already occurred since the early days of February when Dallara (incumbent chassis manu), Delta Wing, Swift, Lola, and finally BAT all had turns at revealing their preliminary concepts. 


Then, there’s Maude:

Unveiled at the Chicago North American Auto Show, this stunner seemed to leave mouths agape and searching for proper descriptors, of which few were found. To many, this potential design was neither ‘IndyCar’ nor attractive. Infuriating and repulsive to a web-vocal bunch, yet supported by those who would actually be responsible for the purchase and use of such machines. I’ll admit my skepticism was running high at first blush, until I put away the emotion and became interested enough to spend some time reading ‘Why?’. The factors and criteria which led the Delta Wing team to this point became more illuminated after reading the method behind the madness. With so many comments and thoughts swirling around IndyCar at this point, I doubt I’m saying anything that has not already, however, it is my opinion, as a fan of well over 30 years, that this opportunity, at this time, will be the defining moment of the sport’s survival or plummet into obscurity.

As a longtime fan, I’d rather not see such a great American institution as the Indy 500 and the sport, with a storied lineage so rarely found in this country, lost at the short-sightedness of a few. The time is right for something as truly inspired as the DeltaWing. The time also is right for inclusion of multiple propulsion systems. Vast freedoms of propulsion, with the limits set by efficient use of power, not by sheer power itself.

This opportunity has presented itself to be something new, exciting, and relevant. Right here, right now. Draw a bead and pull the trigger IndyCar, before something else draws faster. You can only be too late, never too early.

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