New aerodynamic options for Indianapolis 500
Monday 27th February, 2023 - 9:00am
IndyCar has announced aerodynamic tweaks ahead of the 2023 season, including a suite of new options for the Indianapolis 500.
This year will be the 12th for the DW12 Dallara chassis and the sixth for the IR18 aerodynamic package, although even that has evolved since it was introduced, most notably by the addition of the aeroscreen in 2020.
There will be further evolution for the season ahead, with a number of changes covering either road courses/street circuits or ovals, but predominantly affecting the Indy 500.
They are, as announced by IndyCar:
- Optional short oval barge boards on road and street course events
- At Texas Motor Speedway, the underwing sidewall has been made optional
- On the IMS oval:
- New optional underwing flap wicker
- New mandatory stability wickers
- The option of a new additional underwing inner bargeboard (also optional at other ovals)
- Optional underwing road and street course strakes
- Speedway infill wicker made optional (also at Texas Motor Speedway)
Furthermore, a new wing mount specification for Indianapolis Motor Speedway gives competitors an extra three degrees of adjustability, and hence a widened downforce range.
“At the Indy 500, drivers in the pack can run up to 10 percent more downforce than last year,” said Tino Belli, IndyCar’s director of aerodynamic development.
“With the increased rear wing range, teams can still try and trim out the rear wing for end of race speed – and go for the win – if they have worked their way up into the lead group.
“Overall, IndyCar wants to give race teams more options going into 2023.
“The optional barge boards give them a crucial tool when they consider, strategically, what it will take to get to victory lane.”
Cars will also be fitted with mandatory rain vanes to deflect water from the aeroscreen in wet conditions which are, of course, not applicable on ovals.
Visibility became a serious issue during last year’s May Indianapolis road course race, the first of the aeroscreen era to be held in particularly heavy rain, with IndyCar committing to finding solutions after what was a chaotic encounter.
The aerodynamic changes have been announced ahead of the season-opener on the streets of St Petersburg this weekend.
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