The long-running issue of the cost of spare parts that IZOD IndyCar Series teams have to pay to chassis manufacturer Dallara appears to have finally reached a resolution.
A new deal between Dallara and the IndyCar Series will reportedly deliver a 14 per cent reduction in the price that the teams will have to pay for spare parts for their DW12 chassis incurred as a result of crash damage and technical failures during the 2013 season.
"We sat down and had a very civil meeting with the series in December and I think that's great, that's what we need," said Panther DR team co-owner Dennis Reinbold on Thursday.
Teams have been unhappy with the running costs of the new car that was introduced at the start of the 2012 season, which they say has seen their running costs jump by a much as 40 per cent in the first year, compared with the old car that had been in service for nearly a decade.
Dissatisfaction from the teams over the high cost of spare parts is thought to be one of the major reasons why former CEO Randy Bernard lost the support of team owners and was ousted from his job at the end of last year. Teams say that Bernard had promised them that the cost of running the new car would be lower than that of its predecessor, not higher.
Even with the cost reduction for 2013, prices will still overall be more than the owners wanted, and owners had been seeking a reduction of at least 20 per cent. But series officials led by interim IndyCar CEO Jeff Belskus estimated that the new deal will still save each team around $50,000 per entry over the course of the season.
Reinbold - who had been the team owner's designated representative for negotiations - said that it was important to get some sort of deal in place now before the start of the new season in 2013 and not have the matter run on any longer than it already had.
"Getting something done so we can move on? I'm in favour of that. We've been hashing this thing around for quite a while," he told SPEED.com
. "We have bigger things we need to focus our attention on. It was never going to be perfect, but it's better than no decision like we had all last year. The in-fighting is hopefully now a thing of the past."
The series has also tried to find other ways of reducing the cost burden on teams, including limiting test days and capping the number of engines that can be used by teams during a season.
Media reports have said that despite the resolution to the long-running disagreement over costs, team owners are still less than happy with the way that current series officials failed to include them in the final talks with Dallara, or even formally inform them of the outcome.
Meanwhile, Dallara itself has also been criticised for not fulfilling it commitment to building the new IndyCar chassis in Indianapolis, which saw it receive additional funding from the state of Indiana. Although the company is building a new headquarters and plant close to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it's understood that the DW12 cars are still mainly manufactured in Italy and that it is only the final assembly which is taking place in the US.