Page 12 - Dallara Magazine

IZOD IndyCar 2013
Engineer Toso, what are the aims and
expectations for the IZOD IndyCar 2013
The 2012 season was very hard on the
teams: in the middle of a global economic
and financial crisis the team owners were
obliged to buy new cars, new engines, new
equipment, whether they liked it or not;
inevitably, drivers and engineers asked the
owners to invest in time on the test track, in
wind tunnels, simulators and in a range of
laboratory tests in order to get to know the
new product. In addition, the teams were
forced to divest themselves of their existing
cars, and all the associated spare parts,
without any way of recouping their costs
and, in a wider sense, to relinquish all their
data, know-how and experience. The 2013
season is far more promising since there have
been little or no modifications to the cars or
the engines, with the exception of a series of
requests on the part of the organizers and
the teams in light of their experiences in
this means that the teams will be able
to revert to their normal management
regimes, concentrating on costs, profits, and
efficient organization of their personnel and
activities for the next four seasons».
What are the new developments for the
Every modification represents a cost, and
someone, somewhere in the system will have
to pay for it, with the exception of safety
devices, where the cost of implementing is
generally less than the potential cost of not
implementing them; this is why safety
measures can usually be introduced quickly
and with little or no resistance. An example
of a safety-related improvement concerns the
risk that the drivers run of rolling their cars
in the event of a lateral impact against the
barriers at high speed on the oval tracks; this
is exacerbated by the fact the bodywork on
the new Dallara Indycar is actually wider
than the tyres, so that it is the first part of
the car to come into contact with the barriers
in the event of a lateral impact. The risk of
rolling was not particularly high during the
preceding season, and no drivers were
affected by it; however we became aware
that there was still room for improvement in
this area.
Thanks to a number of suggestions from the
drivers, and in agreement with IZOD Indycar,
after having already modified the structure
of the bodywork during the season, at
Dallara we have designed and built lateral
structures that will be mounted in the cockpit
at the same height as the driver’s shoulders.
These structures will be mounted internally
so that they are not exposed to the external
air flow; this solution enabled us to avoid
altering the car’s performance or its
aerodynamic stability while improving the
passive safety in the event of an accident.
The growing popularity of street circuits,
which enable city authorities (for example
Baltimore and, in the near future,
Providence) to boost the local economy by
attracting a new class of tourist, prompted
us to introduce further modifications. In
response to the violent braking and low
average speeds that typify these circuits, we
have developed intakes that increase the
quantity of cooling air that reaches the
brakes: the team engineers can decide
whether to favour lap performance by
retaining the current, smaller intakes, or
install the larger brake intakes in order to
reduce the working temperature of the brake
disks during the race and hence the costs
associated with the wear and tear on the
brakes over the entire season. Another
example concerns new structures that are
designed to reduce the risk of damaging the
brakes during the frequent and frenetic pit-
stops: in this case, the cost of the new
components is significantly lower than the
cost of damaging the brake disks, and both
the organizers and the teams were happy to
implement it».
From your point of a view as a constructor,
what are your suggestions for the further
development of the category over the next
few years?
Motorsports in the United States, and
especially IZOD Indycar, is primarily a show
business event, and this means that it is in
direct competition with other sporting events
such as baseball, football, basketball and
hockey, all of which have vast numbers of
fans, both on television and the Internet. It’s
easy to promise our sponsors increased
audiences, improved television coverage and
hence greater profits, but it is also important
to bear in mind that the Motorsports market,
and the sports entertainment market in
general, is not infinite and that, in the final
analysis, its earnings potential is limited by
how much the fans who make up the sector
are able to pay: increasing the value of IZOD
Indycar implies detracting revenue from
other motorsports categories, and from the
rest of the entertainment sector, including
cinema, video games, tourism etc. In order to
achieve this we have to be able to modify the
public’s habits and interests, and the
inclination to spend their money, and this
will take time and the right people. In
conclusion: in order to ensure that Indycar
continues to develop over the next few years,
the organizers, suppliers, teams and drivers
must simply concentrate on doing their jobs
and doing them well: the results will surely
What feed-back have you had from the
teams about the new car?
After July 2010, when Dallara and IZOD
Indycar signed the contract, two distinct
points of view emerged among the fans,
journalists, drivers, engineers and team
owners. Some were unwilling to invest and
felt that, given the difficult economic
situation, it would be better not to change
anything at all, whereas others were
convinced that, after nine years with the