Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

February 12, 2010

The Open Source Indy Car: Will ADD-Addled 18-35s Even Care?

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 12:57 pm

I always try to listen to Kevin Lee and Curt Cavin’s racing show…folks in Indy get it on the old WIBC 1070 frequency and the rest of us scattered about the planet get it online. It is one of the few remaining such shows that go where racing fans need it to. My only problem with it, and it is admittedly minor, is that both hosts tend to suck up to whoever they are interviewing.  Questions are mostly lobbed softballs. But it is a whole lot better than nothing, and they get great guests.

Last night one of them was Ben Bowlby, the designer of the polarizing Delta Wing. His primary talking point is how the car was developed from an entirely engineered standpoint, going for maximum efficiency with available technology. Form following function. Relying solely on engineering has always scared me. From the looks of the car I still say Ben must be compensating for something that must be really small. It looks like it came from a cartoon. Perhaps we ought to drop IZOD as the title sponsor and sign Trojan up.

That said, the notion of ‘open source’ to multiple builders is quite attractive. Anyone who submits a design should follow that model. Cavin made the case last night that it is not the Indy Car Series necessarily mandating one chassis choice but more exclusivity demands by builders for economic reasons. What may happen is an open sourced Delta Wing that evolves by people who build them.

The case for making a drastic change centers around attracting 18-35 demos (something Kevin Kalkhoven points out), something Indy Car has not done well. It is a big gamble. What about the rest of the Indy Car followers not already alienated by the idiotic politics of open wheel racing? Do you blow all of them off on the mostly whimsical hope that 18-35’s will flock in? Personally I believe having innovation among more than one manufacturer is the way to go.

Randy Bernard was another guest and he indicated he was trying to meet as many people as he could before he takes office, which is probably the only thing he really can do at this point. My brother and I hereby offer to take him to dinner before he starts poring over the budget. Collectively, he and I have around 80 500’s under our belts.



  1. I’m still in my 40’s and I plan on attending many 500s and IndyCar Races in the future. So,all I can say to the 18-35 idea,,,, “””WHAT ABOUT ME?””””

    It’s those who are 40 and above that are aware of Indy’s rich heritage and are your most loyal fans. My word to Randy: Yes, please bring in the new demographic, but keep the existing one as well. I still want to be a fan!!!

    Comment by Mike Miller — February 12, 2010 @ 2:29 pm | Reply

  2. Futhermore: If you want to attract younger fans,,GO VERY FAST, Especially on pole day at Indy.

    Comment by Mike Miller — February 12, 2010 @ 2:36 pm | Reply

  3. This new car is not even open wheel. The “cute” little cutouts do not make this an open wheel car.

    Go back to the cars that could approach 240. Make whatever improvements can be made to them without sacrificing speed. And lets do get “a new track record” on pole day at Indy.

    We don’t need this ugly silly looking car.

    Comment by Bob F. — February 12, 2010 @ 3:11 pm | Reply

  4. I agree with Bob F. Put a roof and a rollcage on it push it off on Nascar. That can be THEIR car of tomorrow.

    Comment by Bob Up — February 12, 2010 @ 3:27 pm | Reply

  5. I’m sure Randy would love to have dinner with you and your brother. I doubt he will join you at the varsity lounge where you guys normally hang.

    Comment by TroyM — February 12, 2010 @ 4:40 pm | Reply

  6. The Salt Flats called and they want their car back.

    Comment by Bonnie Vill — February 13, 2010 @ 1:29 am | Reply

  7. i love the design. it looks powerful and thrusting. it gets my blood pumping. i would hope every irl fan opens up and accept it’s entrance. this hot rod can penetrate a new breed of irl fan. i embrace the delta wang because I am as queer as a football bat.

    Comment by adam lambert — February 13, 2010 @ 1:22 pm | Reply

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