Last March I wrote a blog detailing what I wanted the IndyCar of Tomorrow to look like. I asked for a one-size-fits-all safety cell and unrestricted body styles. Well Christmas came in July this year! I got exactly what I asked for, if you ignore the fact that I asked that the safety cell be non-stressed, the chassis be made of steel, and the engine be in the front.
I am still very pleased with the results. The existing formula provides the worst of both worlds. The Dallara IR5 was built to compete with the Panoz GF09; neither car was built with cost control as a major consideration. Once Panoz abandoned GF09 development in favor of building the DP01 for Champ Car (a wise investment that was), the Dallara IR5 gained a monopoly. This left the Izod IndyCar Series as a de facto spec series with an expensive spec.
Will it still be a single chassis series for the foreseeable future? Yes. Is that a bad thing? No. In this new context, "chassis" and "body" have become two different things. This may be a difficult concept for some open-wheel fans to grasp (ask a NASCAR fan if you need help). The important thing is that the cars will look different, even if those differences are cosmetic in nature. In the battle for eyeballs on TV networks, it does not matter how trained those eyeballs are.
I would love to have multiple chassis and bodies on the track as much as the next guy. But the more chassis on the track, the more expensive each becomes because the constructors have to compensate for lost sales volume (of course this assumes demand remains constant). For now, let's just go one step at a time and hope this helps pull the series out of obscurity.
Opinions expressed in blogs are those of the individual bloggers and do not necessarily represent the views of racing-reference.info.