Wednesday evening saw the announcement of the car concept for the next era of the IZOD IndyCar Series starting in 2012, as decided after much deliberation by the ‘ICONIC’ committee. This was a chassis announcement, engines were briefly discussed but they were not the focus of this decision.
The qualifications of the committee seem to me to be unquestionable.
- Gil de Ferran – Indy 500 winner, IndyCar and (former ALMS) team owner, former sporting director of Honda F1;
- Tony Cotman – among many other things the man responsible for the Panoz DP01 project at Champ Car, also the chief steward of Indy Lights I believe;
- Brian Barnhart – President of Competition at IndyCar;
- Tony Purnell – founder of Pi Research, formerly ran Jaguar F1 and Ford’s Premier Performance Division;
- Neil Ressler – former Chief Technical Officer at Ford Motor Company;
- Eddie Gossage – President of Texas Motor Speedway;
- Rick Long – Speedway Engine Development;
- and of course the new superstar CEO of IndyCar, Randy Bernard.
It was chaired by retired General Bill Looney, apparently he was responsible for a major engineering project in the US Air Force.
I can’t think of a better driver to consult than Gil de Ferran, he’s won races in the current cars and the CART Lolas, and has management experience in three major championships. Cotman was the last man to bring in a new car to a budget in North American Open Wheel racing and he and his group learned a lot, it is good to see that knowledge being called upon. Purnell and Ressler have a close working relationship from their time with Ford and Jaguar. Gossage is perhaps the most creative track owner/promoter in the series at the moment.
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