Ground(ed) Effects

Indycar and general autosport opinion

Taken from a comment posted by yours truly on another blog owned by the one and only Jack Arute, in response to the impending ICONIC decision regarding the 2012 IndyCar chassis regulations:
“It would seem, on what could be the very precipice of the most critical decision in OW history, that what the fan wants has not changed one iota over the last 30 years – a symbol of progress and glimpses of the technology of tomorrow.
LONG gone are the days when ever-increasing speeds (at Indy) at all costs meant progress, and I’d have to say despite the yearnings of a vocal minority who long for that past, to try and return to that previous time would be a monumental step backward.
Tomorrow will by many accounts be a time of new energies and technologies. Many on either coast may envision a time without autos, but the 44-46 other states in between them would have a different story. The automobile will never disappear, but again become the symbol of innovation and IndyCar can once again lead the way by embracing multiple propulsion systems. I’m talking about cellulosic ethanol and diesel, hydrogen, electric, whatever…
True innovation for the future through racing would seem to comprise the ability to develop the most powerful engine that uses the least amount of fuel over a given distance. To me the chassis is secondary in this formula albeit one that could also use innovative design to increase the ability of the engine.
This is where the Delta Wing seems to have been right on the money. As much as I prefer a time when an IndyCar “looked like an Indycar”, that time may be over and to eliminate the DeltaWing from being part of the competition, would seem to be delaying the inevitable future. I’m not a big fan of the looks of the DW, but it’s innovative concepts are certainly intriguing. 
I say give it a chance. No one will be laughing if Roger Penske ends up plunking his money down on it and wins with it now will they?”
My assessment of the engine package was that the “opening” of the specifications was a timid toe-dip into the pools of the unknown. A far more open and broad-ranging propulsion equation would’ve been what I’m looking for, something akin to the existing ALMS regulations, specifically the Green-X Challenge.  At any rate, to me the answer from the fans couldn’t be more clear, “Men and women of chassis engineering – welcome to the IZOD IndyCar Series, have at it!”

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