The sanctioning body INDYCAR and their IZOD IndyCar Series are becoming one of the most open championships in the world in terms of fan access, both at the track and in terms of changing the product based on fan feedback, and explaining their thought processes, although clearly the recent fracas over decisions in race control shows there is still a long way to go.
This is a remarkable cultural shift if you think about the introverted nature of all flavours of North American open-wheel racing over the previous 15 years or more. That’s not to say others aren’t open, the ALMS and the BTCC are pretty good at it too, and so it is nice to see a topline open-wheel series following suit.
Noted motorsport bods NZR Consulting are also good at fan availability, just this week their people have been tweeting from Sao Paulo about the build-up of that street venue and the changes made there since 2010, a job tasked to NZR. Their most pubically-visible ‘name’ is Tony Cotman, who works with the IndyCar Series in race control and is also in charge of stewarding the Indy Lights series. He used to perform a similar function with Champ Car and whilst there he oversaw the transition from the then-old Lolas to the new Panoz DP01.
Cotman and NZR are now in charge of overseeing the IndyCar Series transition from the old Dallara IR7 to the new Dallara IndyCar body with “aero kit” add-ons provided by other makers, as well as the change from a sole supplier (Honda) to competition between 3 makes (Honda, Chevy, Lotus), all under the direction of the INDYCAR ICONIC Committee.
In this short video made publically available via the official IndyCar YouTube channel, Cotman explains the progress they have made to date and lets us know the timescale they are working toward.
I must say I was very sceptical when I first heard this plan which seemed like a letdown over full chassis competition, and it is still disappointing they didn’t take that route, but now I’m very excited to see how this turns out because it is far better than a single-spec series. The new car with engine competition is something really to look forward to, and the added extra of what should hopefully be a variety of aero kits adds an interesting dimension to the mix. Let’s hope those designs don’t converge over the following years to all look the same.
I’ve not asked IndyCar or NZR, but I assume as it on an open channel with a ‘share’ option that I’m allowed to repost the video. Thanks to the @Newman_Haas team for tweeting the original link and do also follow NZR Consulting and IndyCar if you don’t already.