INDYCAR has announced that development by Chevrolet and Honda on their respective aero kits for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season has been frozen with a universal aero kit on the way for 2018.
The two manufacturers — and the teams that represent them — will utilize their current aero kit components next year in advance of the introduction of a single, unified aero kit to begin the 2018 season.
Per Jay Frye, INDYCAR president of competition and operations, work on the 2018 aero kit has already begun.
“The 2018 car is a tremendous opportunity for INDYCAR and the design collaboration is already underway,” Frye said. “The goal of the universal car is to be great-looking, less aero dependent, have more potential for mechanical grip/downforce and to incorporate all the latest safety enhancements.”
The current aero kit regulations, as announced back in 2013, were introduced to the Verizon IndyCar Series for the 2015 season and remained in use for 2016. After two years that saw track records broken and certain teams grow frustrated at the heightened costs, INDYCAR has opted to keep costs at a minimum for next year before the transition is made to the spec aero kit.
A key factor in the discontinuation of separate, manufacturer-based aero kits for the 2018 racing season is INDYCAR’s goal to entice a third engine manufacturer to join Chevrolet and Honda on the Verizon IndyCar Series grid. Without the need to exhaust additional resources on aerodynamic development as the series’ current pair of engine providers have done in recent years, future manufacturers would be able to focus solely on their power units.
Not only will the workload be lessened for Chevrolet and Honda, potential manufacturers may now be relieved of any current hesitancy in entering IndyCar in the seasons to come.
“Today’s announcement follows an extended dialogue with Chevrolet, Honda, our teams and stakeholders,” said Frye. “This is an integral component to INDYCAR’s long-term plan to continue to produce the highest quality of on-track competition while also positioning ourselves to add additional engine manufacturers.”
At this time it is unclear the identity of the manufacturer behind the forthcoming universal aero kit.