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Walker unveils series' long-term technical development plan

"It's not a must do. It would be a nice do, but it's not a 'must do'," said Walker. "When you look at the speed increases, the improvements in the car, you can realistically expect that we will possibly break that record unless we make major changes to backtrack, we're probably going to crack the record."

However, speed has its price, as Walker went on to explain, with every mile per hour increase adding four times the amount of lift.

"If we're going to ramp up the speed, as we make these changes, as the teams get more familiar with the car, as the engine manufacturers continue to invest money into the series, we're going to have to go quicker," Walker said. "Here is where we really started to look at it very carefully and say, what do we need to do. What we need to do and are going to do is we needed to look to, first, safety."

Already scheduled for the series is a new engine upgrade and homologation process for 2014, which in turn will require downforce adjustments to the car in order to enhance racing, overtaking, and safety. That will be followed by aero kits in 2015, with further tyre, aero and engine upgrades pencilled in for 2016/7.

Speaking in Detroit on Sunday, Walker put the expected life of the current DW12 chassis - which made its race début last year at the March season opener in St Petersburg, Florida - as seven years in total, with the series looking at a possible comprehensive body chassis and engine specification overhaul likely to be introduced for 2019

"2018 you're probably looking at the end of era of this current car," said Walker. "We're saying it probably is, or is rather, not probably. If you look at the current platform of the pieces we've got, even with the aero kits thrown in there, the basic package has been on the shelf for quite a long time at that point.

"There will be a lot of other ideas coming along, safety ideas, all kinds of things that come along, that will say that we need do some bigger changes," he added. "Then we're really faced with a situation, if we were so lucky, going into 2019 by saying, do we go with another new car, get the latest technology, or do we find another way?"

But Walker admitted that the current economic climate for motor racing might require the series to be more pragmatic in practice and for the new car to be a variant on the DW12 rather than a complete new development, although Walker admitted that he would love to have more competition from different chassis suppliers rather than relying on the current exclusive arrangement with Dallara.

"Because of the economic environment we're in, we're probably going to extend the life of that car another three or so years," he said. "How we're going to do that is take the basic spine, chassis, gearbox, other key components of the chassis, the rolling chassis, and say let's not do a kit, let's do a complete facelift, a complete body styling" which would allow for increased safety without rendering all the existing equipment obsolete as happened between the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

"For the time being, we're looking at a lean, mean economy out there, so we're going to keep some longevity in our path," Walker insisted. "It would give you a different look, a different performance. It should be about the car of the future. It should be a car - probably heard that word before - but a car that looks like a modern racing car.

"When you look at it, you will say: 'That's an IndyCar!'"


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Related Pictures

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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
Derrick Walker, the new president of competition and operations for the IZOD IndyCar Series, unveils the new technical development roadmap during a press conference at Detroit - Sunday, June 2 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Derrick Walker, the new president of competition and operations for the IZOD IndyCar Series, unveils the new technical development roadmap during a press conference at Detroit - Sunday, June 2 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Derrick Walker, the new president of competition and operations for the IZOD IndyCar Series, unveils the new technical development roadmap during a press conference at Detroit - Sunday, June 2 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay leads James Hinchcliffe during the early stages of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway (centre), driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory with champagne Sunday, April 13, 2014 after winning the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. Will Power (right), driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, finished second. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, April 13, 2014 during the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. With the victory, Conway moves into second place in the driver point standings. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, April 13, 2014 during the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. With the victory, Conway moves into second place in the driver point standings. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, raises his arm as he crosses the finish line Sunday, April 13, 2014 to win the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. With the victory, Conway moves into second place in the driver point standings. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
James Hinchliffe (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe in the hairpin during practice at Long Beach -- Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 finished third. (Photo by LAT/ Russell LaBounty for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 finished third. (Photo by LAT/ Russell LaBounty for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 finished third. (Photo by LAT/ Russell LaBounty for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 finished third. (Photo by LAT/ Michael L. Levitt for Chevy Racing)
Chevrolet engine cowling showing the logo of the Verizon IndyCar Series. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Refuelling (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)

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sennaf1

June 06, 2013 9:10 PM

What IndyCar needs to be careful with is not to necessarily increase overall speed but make the cars driveable in traffic. The drivers must have complete confidence in the car when in traffic. Also IndyCar must place a premium on passing and making the racing exciting for fans. This is the most important factor. The racing should be exciting with plenty of on-track passing.



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