IndyCar Unveils Next Generation Car at North American Auto Show
DETROIT -- You've seen the concept before, but on Tuesday, IndyCar officially unveiled their next generation car.
At the North American Auto Show in Detroit, the 2018 IndyCar and Aero-Kit were introduced to the world.
It's a concept that has been years in the making, says IndyCar President of Competition Jay Frye.
"This process started in December of 2015," Frye said. "We unveiled what it could possibly look like here (NAIAS) in January last year. It's been a long process but it's been very rewarding."
IndyCar Series Champion Josef Newgarden says he's pleased with the new concept.
He says not only will the new car be safer for the driver, it will also be faster. He's predicting record speeds for qualifying at the Indianapolis 500.
"I really think you're going to see speeds of 240 to 245 miles per hour," Newgarden said of the new car. "It's exciting to see the level of detail that IndyCar has put into this, and really the care that they have gone through, to make sure we're developing something that is only going to be a benefit and no negatives."
PHOTO: Josef Newgarden by Joe Skibinski/IndyCar
Newgarden says that there will be a learning curve for everyone, though.
He says it depends on the track, but you'll see biggest difference in street course racing like on the Streets of St. Petersburg, Mid-Ohio, or the Duals of Detroit.
"Any development you've had for street courses in the past will be thrown out," added Newgarden. "Essentially, the car is more lively. It slides around a lot more and you have to be comfortable with it moving around underneath you, especially on corner entry."
However, he says the new car is "more predictable thanks to reworked weight distribution.
As far as superspeedway races like the Indianapolis 500, Newgarden says that, in addition to faster speeds, the new car favor drivers who like to run in traffic.
"The following is going to be a lot better, which is going to play in to the hands of the drivers that like to race close, and it will put on a good show for the fans."
Jay Frye says that the new car will be universal among both Chevy and Honda manufacturers.
It will also be the car of competition for the next three years in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
Frye says he still hopes to see a third manufacturer get into the mix to compete with Chevy and Honda.
The new car makes its debut March 11 at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
(TITLE IMAGE: Chris Owens/IndyCar)