Matheus Leist, Foyt, IndyCar, Sebring, 2018

Pictures: Striking 2018 IndyCar hits the track


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IndyCar’s new-look car for 2018 hit the track with several teams testing at Sebring last week.

The revised aerokit, running on the same Dallar DW12 chassis the championship has used since 2012, features a substantially overhauled aerodynamic package. A key goal of the new car has been to generate more downforce from the car’s floor rather than its upper surfaces in the hope this will improve racing.

The car has also shed the rear wheel guards which were introduced following a series of airborne accidents. The change has significantly reduced the car’s weight and shifted its centre of gravity forwards.

Among those running at the test were new team Carlin with one car for ex-Marussia F1 driver Max Chilton. Here’s a look at the cars in action.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti, IndyCar, Sebring, 2018
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti, IndyCar, Sebring, 2018
Alexander Rossi, Andretti, IndyCar, Sebring, 2018
Alexander Rossi, Andretti, IndyCar, Sebring, 2018
Max Chilton, Carlin, IndyCar, Sebring, 2018
Max Chilton, Carlin, IndyCar, Sebring, 2018


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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 55 comments on “Pictures: Striking 2018 IndyCar hits the track”

    1. They are gooing to look glorious when powersliding with the rear wheels uncovered again.
      Marco Andretti’s all black car looks amazing.

      But as I pointed out previously: both IndyCar and Formula 1 should start hiring professional designers (or better than the current ones) for their paintwork, because those liveries look really primitive compared to amateur made (?) designs fans post online:

      1. I absolutely agree.
        Some of those liveries really are subpar.

      2. Because those amatuer designers aren’t constrained by contracts regarding placement, size, perspective and other contract stipulations like actual race teams are. I have heard from multiple designers on other sites that contracts are the toughest thing to work with and some spec the size to the mm2 so there is not a lot of room to play with the designs like fans want, or think there is.

      3. The sponsors want a simple livery so the sponsor decals stand out. If the livery looked good the sponsors fear that their decals would be harder to see.

    2. Love the direction indycar is going in. Coupled with the dire direction formula 1 is heading for the first time in my life I’m just as excited for indycar. Cant wait

      1. I don’t know – sometimes I feel that there is rather a lot of “the grass is always greener on the other side”, with people tending to focus on those bits that appeal to them whilst tending to gloss over potential negative points. For example, whilst people talk about the grid being more even, Penske, Andretti or Ganassi have ended up winning the title in every single season from 2003 onwards, despite the move to a standardised chassis (which doesn’t seem to have removed any of the advantages those teams have traditionally had), so they still have the same issue of a small number of teams essentially dominating the series.

        1. over a season, cream rises to the top, but an Indycar race in isolation is brilliantly unpredictable.

      2. For me the fact that all the cars look identical is a deal-breaker. Without the engineering of F1, it’s no more exciting than F2.

        1. @krommenaas there is DESIGN in F1. but the regs are so tight the “engineering” is limited to adjusting tyre pressures and springs.

          check out some of the running repairs that Indycar crews have to do – that’s actual engineering. Not to mention it’s competitive enough that getting a fixed car out and running even a few laps down is worth it – unlike F1 where teams will regularly retire a perfectly fine car so they can save engine mileage or get a new gearbox in the next race.

          it makes me laugh how people don’t appreciate how much of a difference proper engineering can make in a spec series (Indy, F2, whatever). just because F1 costs 100x as much it’s automatically better, somehow.

          1. F1 teams don’t hire literally hundreds of engineers and aerodynamicists just to do fancy design. I recommend you watch a Willem Toet lecture on youtube if you really believe that. I’m sure there’s proper engineering in spec series too, but I don’t get to see and hence enjoy any of that. I do wish F1 regs were much less tight though.

    3. Great to see the Carlin name up there.

    4. Will the new series be available in live streaming via youtube like he indy 500?
      I’m in Portugal, it is difficult to follow F1, let alone Indy

      1. How could that possibly be? The cable-TV Portuguese commentators are so good and they know so much about the sport and they’re on the track and commenting and know so much and are so smart!!!1

        1. Mueheheheh

          And sporttv is so cheap

    5. A key goal of the new car has been to generate more downforce from the car’s floor rather than its upper surfaces in the hope this will improve racing.

      I hope the FIA are taking note of this and that the right people are in place to analyze exactly what the effects are. Ross Brawn did set out to have a more evidence based approach to the technical directives and less knee jerk reactions. This should therefore be an invaluable research opportunity for him.

      1. I do get your sentiment and there may be something to it, but I’m confident Brawn and his team already know much about what they need to do in this regard, and the cars are so different I don’t know if he can take anything from Indycar that can be translated to F1, other than to appreciate the concept of ground effects for downforce vs aero. Indycar is quite a spec series too, so to see closer racing this season might be no surprise and hard to determine how much is because of their aero changes. But anyway, it sure can’t hurt to see a series shying away from too much aero dependency.

      2. @yossarian @robbie And with a move towards ground effects has come a lot of the old problems they had with ground effects.

        These cars are been run very, very stiff so have been bouncing from one bump to another rather than riding them which has caused a lot of stability problems in the testing. Additionally they have become very pitch sensitive in that under braking for instance the nose dipping/rear rising has been creating massive instability due to the pitch change disturbing the airflow under the car which therefore reduces grip. This is likely to make late braking/outbraking very, very tricky & potentially harder.

        Also seems the overall balance of the car is understeer, Very bad understeer, Especially at low speed because the front wing is now so ineffective that it isn’t producing much grip & at low speed the floor doesn’t work well either.

        You may not hear much of that publicly because drivers have been gagged, Can’t say anything that may be deemed critical of the series.

        1. Where have you been dragging this tired old nugget up from? No one involved in the actual testing has said anything remotely close to your claims nor have anyone with an axe to grind against Indycar. And that’s a LONG list. Think that’s just another Indycar is terrible post from a guy with an agenda.

    6. I think the cars look much better and I’m looking forward to the season.

    7. The car looks OK (Although a bit too much like the Indy Lights car) but I still hate the fact there going back to been a spec series in terms of the chassis which is why i’m just not as excited about Indycar this year as I otherwise would have been, I just don’t like the direction they seem to be going.

      1. Have you not been paying attention? It’s not back, it’s the same spec chassis they have been using for years. The only change was the ridiculous aero kits per engine manufacturer are gone. The 47 plane ugly get ups that sprouted at the front have been replaced with far less aero upper surfaces and cleaner car.

        And the plan is to have a chassis that with an engine swap, and a few other bits, can be the Indy and Indy Lights cars. Sorry, the guys at Speedway Blvd have figured out the ONLY thing that will keep Indycars on the track is major cost savings. It has to be done or the series is done, it’s that black and white.

        1. I know it was the same chassis, But the aero kits we had the past few years created a bit of much welcomed variety. I liked how the aero kits looked different between the 2 manufacturer’s, How they created performance variances where maybe the Honda kit would perform better on one type of track & the Chevrolet another Etc…. And where the 2 kits were been developed which also added interest.

          The aero kits weren’t perfect but they were better than every car been identical with no significant development going on.

          @pastaman Yes the racing is good but that isn’t all I care about, Never has been. Yes I like that aspect of the sport but I also like seeing competition, Not just between drivers but also between teams, Engines, Tyres, Chassis, Fuels etc…. I like the technical race, I like the development race & seeing different suppliers trying to out-develop each other & push performance forward.

          The racing in Indycar may well be good, It’s perhaps the best it’s ever been but on every other level is well below where it once was & to me that is a big part of why fans havn’t come back to it in the way everyone was expecting 10 years ago where Champcar/IRL merged & ‘promised’ they were going to go back to what made the series as CART as great as it was in the 90’s & as far as i’m concerned they have completely failed to do anything but stay exactly where they were during the split & as somebody that loves Indycar I have found that frustrating & massively disappointing.

      2. Except… the wheel to wheel racing is some of the best you’ll see in motorsport, and the championship is almost always up for grabs in the last race of the season.

      3. It’s been the same chassis since 2012. Two different engine manufacturers, and for a couple years, the engine manufacturers produced their own body kits. Now they’ve gone back to a universal kit.

      4. …which is why i’m just not as excited about Indycar this year …

        I am interested in Indycar because I’ve been told my legal on line supplier of F1 races is going to increase my monthly subscription. Indycar put full video of their races onto Youtube, so following it would be cheaper.

        1. @drycrust So, you really want to eat a steak, but it’s too expensive. So you’ll have a tin of baked beans instead?

          1. @psynrg , But the steak isn’t just too expensive, it’s overcooked and tastes like cardboard. While the baked beans taste quite nice.

          2. But it isn’t steak. On closer inspection it’s a poor facsimile of a meal you remember fondly. Extruded pink goo shaped to look like steak, over cooked yet not at all tough and rather blandy seasoned so as to offend no one.

            I’m going to watch Indy for the first season since the demise of CART.

          3. @psynrg I’d rather watch a race legally than illegally. I haven’t made my mind up yet, but if I do decide that I’m not prepared to pay then I’m guessing I could tolerate watching 20 or so regular drivers compete over 16 rounds to decide who is the “World Drivers’ Champion” (or whatever they call him or her).

    8. Search out the “Speedway” version of the car, even more trimmed out and ‘old-school’ look to it. Beautiful car and should make for much more slingshot and drafting passing on the ovals

    9. With the new IndyCar and Formula E designs its shows that motor sport in general can produce some stunning looking racers.

      Mind you, it helps when you have a spec series.

    10. I like it. It looks like an IndyCar should look especially with the low engine cover. Some of the liveries don’t show it off to it’s best though.

    11. Definitely an improvement. Nice clean lines. I still wish all the open wheel series would move away from the super wide font wings, but that’s a pretty cool looking car.

    12. New dress on a 6 year old chassis. Hmmm!

    13. Removing the rubber baby buggy bumper behind the rear wheels was a fantastic move. The cars look much better now.

    14. I’ve seen that design at Detroit Auto Show, and looks killer.
      Anyway, I believe the main “plus” of the new aero package if that it got rid as much as possible the dirty airflow behind the car in a way to permit one drive to stuck behind another without loosing grip. Newgarden was there to talk about the new package and later he said to reporters that with last year’s model when a car got behind the car in front the feeling was that “the car was all over the place and could go up in the air”.
      For him, this is what will make the main difference as it will improve overtakings.

      Yep, the oval version of that car looks fantastic.

    15. I love the sight of a racing car with a nice, clean, traditional ‘nose’ shape that doesn’t end in a weird snowplough, jigsaw piece, elongated proboscis, bent vacuum cleaner attachment or something else.

      So that’s my favourite bit. The rest looks normal enough, attractive without being overly ‘wow’ inducing… the only part that I actively dislike is the low engine cover with the sticking-out roll hoop.

    16. I like it. It looks like an IndyCar should look especially with the low engine cover.

      the only part that I actively dislike is the low engine cover with the sticking-out roll hoop.

      Well, you can’t please everyone!

    17. Sebring is great. Just saying.

    18. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      2nd February 2018, 16:39

      Wow I’m so excited for the season start. Most beautiful single seater cars I’ve seen for a while. It’s nice not to be moaning for a change.

    19. Here is a video of the cars at Sebring. They look fun to watch. I really hated the way the old one looked.

      1. well what happened to the link

    20. IndyCar have also revealed their solution to cockpit protection.

      1. Looks close to identical to the one that Vettel tested on the Ferrari. Hope they have a lot of sick bags ready.

        1. @the-last-pope there is a key distinction that you may have missed. The Ferrari implementation has a convex curve down the front of the screen. The front of the Indycar screen is a straight line. This allows the Indycar screen to be what is called “optically flat” which reduces visual distortion.

          1. @mrmuffins Couple thoughts. This is not ‘their solution’ but is one possibility being tested for now. I notice they speak of testing under different light conditions, but what about in the rain? What about when it gets dirty? That’s not been mentioned.

            In terms of how it might translate to F1? I think the biggest issue amongst others would be the massive change to the aerodynamics of the car. Notice that Indycars don’t have air boxes above and behind the drivers head like in F1. I think this screen would leave the air box not getting the right amount of air without big redesign, as well would the air be totally changed in how it behaves from the cockpit back, resulting in changes needed to the front aero too. In other words big big money and R&D spent by the teams. As has been pointed out SV had visibility issues and I doubt some little curvature ‘straightening’ would solve that.

            There are good reasons why the halo became the go-to solution for F1, and not a windscreen, nor a full cockpit.

            1. @robbie thank you for bringing up the issue of rain and dirt, in another article on the topic by Racer magazine, it has been confirmed that tear offs would be utilized in the case of dirt or oil on the screen. Rain, I assume is expected to run off like it does on a driver’s visor.

              Regarding the aerodynamics, I mentioned on another site that it is convenient for Indycar that this proposed screen coincides with the removal of the overhead air intake with the 2018 Universal Aerokit.

              I beg to differ regarding your dismissal of the different screen design as “some little curvature straightening” because it results in a fundamental change in the optical effect of the screen. Note the Red Bull aeroscreen concept which has a similar design to the Indycar screen when tested in Sochi demonstrated no noticeable optical distortion. The noted concern about driver safety with Red Bull’s aeroscreen was the driver’s head contacting the rim. The Indycar concept differs from Red Bull’s in that the rim is much further forward of the driver thus outside possibility for contacting the driver’s helmet.

    21. Can’t wait to see these cars in action. Indycar racing is one of the most visceral racing series on the planet. I know that the usual teams will probably come out on top but for racing action and unpredictablity the series is second to none. IMHO.

    22. They look great (and will still do so with the aeroshield going forward), they sound way better than an F1 car and the racing is close and exciting (if not a bit too much of a lottery at times) … I’m very excited for the new indycar season!

    23. Easily the most beautiful Open Wheel car on earth! Now with 25 – 30% less downforce they’re going to be a handful to drive (making the drivers work harder), sliding around corners and unpredictable under braking. Should make for some very exciting racing!

    24. I have never really followed IndyCar but I think these cars look really good. It is possible to watch it in the UK, on TV at all? I read that someone said the full races are available on YouTube?

      1. Do an IndyCar search on YouTube. Tons of video.

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