IndyCar »

DW12 rear wheel guards tweaked for ovals

Dallara are to produce new rear wheel guards for the 2012 IndyCar chassis for use on high speed ovals, the series announced Tuesday.
The IZOD IndyCar Series chassis supplier Dallara is to provide a new set of rear wheel guards to teams free of charge for use on the new DW12 at two of the upcoming season's high speed oval events, it was announced this week.

The guards are the part of the bodywork developed to extend over and protect the rear wheels of the car. That will hopefully reduce the incidents of the tyres of two cars making direct contact and fusing together, a major cause of open-wheel race cars being launched into the air. The rear wheel guards should also protect the tyres from being sliced open by even minor contact with the front wing of a pursing car, which can lead to punctures and crashes especially on road courses.

However the real wheel guards have led to criticism from fans that they look like "bumpers", and there have also been concerns about their aerodynamic performance on high-speed ovals such as Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Auto Club Speedway.

The new guards are a slightly different shape, but more importantly are taller and lighter than the original components. The issue now is whether the new design will hold up under the rigours of full-speed punishment.

"Dallara worked hard to make sure it wouldn't vibrate and tested it on a rig," revealed IndyCar's vice president of technology Will Phillips, adding that the redesign had also been tested on scale models and on full-size cars in the wind tunnel at the Auto Research Center in North Carolina. "We have to run it on the track to make sure it performs as expected."

The original rear wheel guards will still be used on all road courses in 2012 - and also at Texas Motor Speedway, Phillips confirmed to IndyCar.com.

"The reason not to have the rear wing guards for Texas is it's a drag reduction and an increase in downforce," he explained. "As we're looking to setting a maximum downforce level at Texas we don't want to take it away and add more in some other fashion."

However, Philips still hopes to use the forthcoming test session in Texas for further testing of the new guards.

"We have to run it on the track to make sure it performs as expected," he agreed. "We're working to see when we could get some production prototypes, and if we're able to have them for the Texas Open Test we might ask a few teams to test them for us."

Phillips particularly commended Dallara's decision to provide the modification to teams without charge.

"With Dallara issuing this part free of charge to teams, they have addressed some of the criticism [of the car's initial handling on ovals]," he said. "Here's a good step on their behalf to give something back that aids the performance of the car. They want to live up to the expectations everyone, including themselves, have about the car."


Tagged as: Dallara , DW12 , endplates , Will Phillips

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Dan Wheldon at the wheel of the 2012 IndyCar Safety Cell during summer testing of the new chassis at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. [Photo credit: Walt Kuhn]
Photo of the new 2012 specification Dallara chassis, unveiled at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 10 2011 with the cars grouped around the historic
Photo of the new 2012 specification Dallara chassis, unveiled at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 10 2011 with the cars grouped around the historic
Illustration showing the rear wing endplates on the new DW12 IndyCar Safety Cell chassis that incorporate rear wheel guards. [Picture Credit: IndyCar.com]
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 pumps his fist as he crosses the finish line, winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday, April 19, 2015 in the streets of Long Beach, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 races to victory Sunday, April 19, 2015 winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Long Beach in the streets of Long Beach, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates winning the pole Saturday, April 18, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Long Beach through the streets of Long Beach, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates winning the pole Saturday, April 18, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Long Beach through the streets of Long Beach, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies fastest, winning the pole Saturday, April 18, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Long Beach through the streets of Long Beach, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 wins the P1 Award Saturday, April 11, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Louisiana at NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, Louisiana. Montoya will start on the pole for the race, based on entrant points as lightning halted qualifying before its completion. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 wins the P1 Award Saturday, April 11, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Louisiana at NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, Louisiana. Montoya will start on the pole for the race, based on entrant points as lightning halted qualifying before its completion. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, March 29, 2015 winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, qualifies fastest Saturday, March 28, 2015, winning the pole position for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Power, the defending champion driver of the series, led his Chevrolet Team Penske teammates to a 1-2-3-4 qualifying sweep. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Hargrove - 8Star Motorsports
Kyle Kaiser - Juncos Racing Indy Lights Dallara-Mazda IL-15
Spencer Pigot - Juncos Racing Indy Lights Dallara-Mazda IL-15
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship with his wife Liz Saturday, August 30, 2014 after the last race of the season at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Chevrolet clinches its third straight Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest.  (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Don - Unregistered

February 29, 2012 5:06 PM

The cars are looking better all the time, and are much better than most of the new F1 cars. If the "bumpers" minimize needless rear punctures they are worth it. Hopefully there main purpose of preventing cars from taking flight works on the track.



© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.