Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

March 17, 2008

Run What You Brung

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 8:02 pm

That used to be the way it was at Indy and elsewhere along the ‘championship trail.’  There are those who profess it as the only way to effectively turn back the clock and return the sport to an evolutionary phase that appeals to them. It is a nice concept, but how do you go about managing it?

There are many ways to do it and there will always be ‘haves’ and have-nots.’  I say if we need to do it, we need to take a radical approach and welcome any new power plant provided it is NOT an internal combustion engine of any kind, and/or if it is, it burns no fossil fuel.  The Hondas used by the IRL are a model of reliability and that is a good thing.  Indy Racing has traditionally been ahead of the curve in new technology and safety improvement. Why stop now?  Why not encourage Honda and others to step up?  

If they want to get really adventurous, loosen up the chassis development process by mandating specific, basic safety features but let others develop something they believe can go fast and win. For those not endowed with Penske-level resources, keep variations of the current package up to snuff so that the sport is accessible and affordable for a wide cross section. Often the small teams provide the inspiration and epitomize the purity of the sport. It is also nice, however, to see the cutting edge up close.  

I really enjoyed several evolutionary phases in person, including the rear engine revolution, turbines, ground effects, and chassis evolution.  All have been fascinating.  Is it not time to try and give that type/spirit of evolution a whirl?  

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1 Comment »

  1. Take a look at the rules prior to sealed engine leases, then devise a formula that puts it back into the hands of engine builders and mechanics. This will open up the competition. Lord knows there are Buicks, Chevies, Cosworths, Oldsmobiles and Infinitis out there just collecting dust. Also take a look at chassis specs prior to the exclusive off-the-shelf mode of buying a spec car. The design of today would require much more emphasis on safety, and rightly so. I’m not sure there would be lots of chassis designer/builders as long as there are existing assembly line manufacturers, but unless the idea is floated out there we’ll never know what people think.

    Comment by Open Wheel Fan — March 17, 2008 @ 9:13 pm | Reply


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