Defending Verizon IndyCar series champion Josef Newgarden is confident the new universal bodykit will enhance the racing spectacle in 2018.
Speaking at the North American International Auto Show where IndyCar launched this season’s car, Newgarden was effusive in his praise: “We believe it’s going to be faster, we believe it’s going to be safer, it’s going to provide better racing”
New IndyCar aero kit checks all the boxes
“We’ve tried to check the boxes on everything you need to with this car to make sure it’s going to function well and give us what we were looking for from a design standpoint”, explained the Team Penske driver.
Newgarden who will run the #1 on his Chevrolet-powered Dallara this year believes the new car meets all expectations: “it’s bolder, it’s more daring and really, we believe it has improved aerodynamics that are going to help the racing product tremendously”
Lower downforce and less aero
Previously the series had encouraged competition between Honda and Chevrolet in both aero kits and engines. In the quest for greater downforce the resulting winglets and aero devices featured on each kit compromised the ability of following cars to pass.
The universal kit for 2018 produces less downforce overall relative to the 2017 specification. Slimline aerodynamics now also mean the majority of aero downforce now comes from the underwing on the bottom of the car. With less dirty air the hope is that passing will increase and that drivers will make the difference on race day.
Newgarden: Our racing product is going to be the best on the planet
Ahead of the new season kicking off in St Petersburg on March 9 -11, the 27 year-old thinks 2018 will see the series draw back many fans: “We want it to be an incredible-looking IndyCar.”
“We want people to come back to the IndyCar Series and love what we’re producing from an aesthetic standpoint, but the message that we really want to push is that our racing product is going to be the best on the planet.”
Team boss Roger Penske who will field three Chevrolet-powered cars in this year’s championship shares Newgarden’s enthusiasm: “I know all the drivers that have tested it, both on the Honda side and the Chevy side, are giving us great reviews, so from a cost perspective, a competitive perspective and I think the look of the car, it’s going to be a home run.”