When the Captain speaks, people listen

Posted by Iannucci | 3/09/2010 | , , , | 3 comments »
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Last week a fifth (yes, I said fifth) design group entered the fray from the 2012 IndyCar Chassis Derby, showing that anyone with a computer is interested in designing the next generation of racing in the IRL. And you don't even really need a spectacular computer - you could have a Commodore Amiga or even and Apple IIgs - as it appears the folks do over at BAT Engineering.

The BAT Engineering design has not only produced a very fast car, but it also provides the strength and structure to allow the drivers to race hard and go wheel to wheel without ending their race early. This close racing and the durability of the car design, will add to the on-track spectacle and competitive format with more entries making the dash to the checkered flag.

Blah blah blah. Come on, BAT - if you're gonna be late you gotta come with something stronger than that. Anyhow, you can view all FIVE designs anytime you want over at this page at IndyCar.com

In a related note, I happened upon a quote from a couple weeks ago that had been published at the corner of the internet owned by Gordon Kirby. Somewhere in between 17 bazillion words of the typical Kirby tome was this interesting quote from Roger Penske regarding the DeltaWing, which seems to be lacking Chip Ganassi's level of enthusiasm.

"Honda's been a big partner and so has Dallara and we don't need a political battle with some car owners wanting a Delta Wing and other owners wanting to stay the traditional way," Penske comments. "I think if we wait a year and push it out to 2013 we can race what we have. We've had good racing and we can keep the costs down especially with the economy the way it is. Then Chip and those guys can get that car developed. Once we get it on the racetrack it's going to be real obvious. I think when that happens they'll either be a lot of support or there won't be.

"At this point I think any new innovation is positive and I think it's important that we evaluate it properly. I think we need innovation. The world is living on innovation and certainly this is an opportunity. What we want to do is evaluate it properly because a knee jerk at this time with a new car and new engines it's going to be expensive. On the other hand it might be something to take Indy car racing where it needs to be."
Does this mean Roger Penske wants to try to lock in another year of dominance? Does it have anything to do with the Ilmor/Honda current monopoly of engines? Does it mean he's not a big fan of jokes about race cars that look like phallic tricycles? I won't pretend to know, leaving all mind-reading duties to the more skilled members of the audience.

What I do know is waiting a year takes away one of the supposed advantages of the War Wiener design since it is said to be a lot further along in development than any of the other four bidders. At the very least we have some obvious hedging here from a man whose reputation involves very little second-guessing.

At the very least it's encouraging to hear The Captain declare "...we don't need a political battle with some car owners..." Amen to that!


  1. pressdog // March 09, 2010 1:41 PM  

    (Bevis and Butthead Voice) Ha. ha-ha, ha-ha ... You said War Weiner.

  2. Unknown // March 10, 2010 6:35 AM  

    I don't know, I took the Captains comment the completely opposite way. Rather than giving the other chassis' a chance to catch up in development, I think Penske realizes that with the major pushback the DW has received, there's no way it will be selected. I think he wants the additional year so they can get it on the track and try to prove itself to gain fan support. Without hugely impressive on-track tests, I think they realize they've designed a car the fans don't want.

  3. Unknown // March 11, 2010 6:12 PM  

    Owners, please give up on the Delta THING. It's design goals are noble, but most everyone hates it. It's ugly as sin and has absolutely nothing to do with Open Wheel. Pick a real car, not some HotWheels toy Bonnevile Salt Flat Racer, or whatever the hell it is...