Reigning IndyCar champion Will Power remains hopeful that new car components can be introduced soon to the series he calls home, or even a whole new car package, and that the design is well thought out ahead of time.
The ageing engine / chassis formula that IndyCar has raced since 2012 has been a topic of discussion for drivers and fans alike, and there has been some slow progress made by the series in recent years towards introducing new engine and hybrid components
The latest plans call for the hybrid pieces to be added to the current 2.2-liter engine in 2024, but the design is still not robust enough to have completed anything more than scattered on-track testing.
With added weight, and subsequent balance issues, still a concern with the new parts, some veterans are of the mind that a whole new chassis design would better accommodate the new components.
Power in particular has volunteered to put his experience to use to help make sure a new formula works well if he’s asked, and hopes that other experienced engineers are asked to contribute their expertise in the design phase as well.
“Yeah, honestly I think [IndyCar] needs a whole combination of new car, new engine, new everything if they’re going to [introduce the new engine],” said Power. “Get the weight distribution right. It means you can sweep the front wheels back a little bit because you get the wheel base you need.
“I hope if they do a new car, they speak to a very experienced driver and engineer together on what is required. Especially for someone like me, I’ve been through Champ Car, many different weight combinations. I have a really good knowledge of what the tire size of this car needs, weight distribution-wise, power versus weight, all that.
“Yeah, we’ll see going forward. I mean, I get it. If everyone has the same [thought], ‘Why spend the money?’ I understand that. The racing is good. ‘Why would we go and have to have the teams spend a ton more money?’ But I’m a driver, so I’d love a new car. All the good stuff with a new car.”
A new car, more specifically a new spec chassis, does not at this time have any solid plans for implementation. A new 2.4-liter engine was scheduled to be introduced by IndyCar alongside the new hybrid components next season, but that plan was recently put on hold.
Power has been one of a couple drivers asked to help test an early version of the hybrid supercapacitor system attached to his car, but has had limited running due to a variety of teething issues.
Even in the short time he was able to test the system out a few weeks ago at Sebring, it was obvious to the veteran that the added weight would be its own problem on top of the reliability and functionality of the system.
More testing is scheduled for dates throughout the upcoming year, where it is hoped that many of the concerns can be ironed out ahead of the hybrid debut in 2024.
Leave a Reply