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]
Sage Karam, driver of the #8 Comfort Revolution/Big Machine Records Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his third-place finish Saturday, July 18, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Wichita State University CFH Racing Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, celebrates his second-place finish Saturday, July 18, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Sebastien Bourdais, driver of the #11 Hydroxycut - KVSH Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory with his son Alex and daughter Emma Sunday, July12, 2015 after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series race at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Sebastien Bourdais, driver of the #11 Hydroxycut - KVSH Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, July12, 2015 winning the Verizon IndyCar Series race at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Degree Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, raced to a sixth-place finish Saturday, June 27, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Penske Truck Rental Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates capturing the pole position during qualifying Friday, June 26, 2015, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Penske Truck Rental Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates capturing the pole position during qualifying Friday, June 26, 2015, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Penske Truck Rental Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies fastest Friday, June 26, 2015, capturing the pole position for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Luca Filippi, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, races to a second-place finish Sunday, June 14, 2015 during the Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Fillip`s teammate, Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6, won the race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory Sunday, June 14, 2015 after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Newgarden`s teammate, Luca Filippi, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6, finished second. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, races to victory Sunday, June 14, 2015 winning the Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Newgarden`s teammate, Luca Filippi (rear), driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6, finished second. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies third-fastest Saturday, June 13, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 PPG Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies second-fastest Saturday, June 13, 2015 for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies fastest Saturday, June 13, 2015 capturing the pole position for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Power will start in the front row with teammate Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Avaya Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar. (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.