Photo: Ed Schipul

Champ Car Style Aerokit Coming for IndyCar in 2018

By Josh Farmer, IndyCar Reporter

The new Verizon IndyCar Series body kits will have a radically different, yet somewhat familiar look when they debut in 2018.

According to RACER, the design will take some styling cues from the Panoz DP-01, the final car to race in the Champ Car World Series in 2007. Some of the changes will include the removal of the airbox above the driver’s head, replacing with a traditional rollover bar design. The sidepods will also be grow in size to fill in the large area behind the front tires and will be the source of air intake rather than an airbox.

This will give the cars much more of a traditional IndyCar look while moving the turbocharger inlets to the side of the cars. Tino Belli, director for aerodynamic development for IndyCar explained the changes to Racecar Engineering:

“We want the low engine cover just because we want the car to look more like a traditional Indy car from the ’90s,” he said. “The whole [overhead] airbox thing is really left over from a normally aspirated engine, which we had had for so long. It’s good at creating positive pressure so the turbos work less hard, but it isn’t the only option available, so we will be moving the inlets to the sidepods.”

The rear wheel pods will likely be removed for the road courses and will remain for the superspeedway ovals, albeit much smaller in size.

Many of the wings and body appendages will be reduced. That will shift much of the car’s airflow to the bottom of the car which will be fitted with a new underwing which will generate much of the car’s downforce.

“This process really started last April and we’re vetting a lot of different looks and possibilities,” said Jay Frye, president of competition, INDYCAR said in an interview with RACER. “We’ve given a list of criteria of the cosmetic looks of the car we want and the performance criteria. We’ll be modeling those versions and working on a timeline to start track testing the car before we go race it in 2018.”

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Josh Farmer joined the media center in 2012 after first discovering his love of IndyCar racing in 2004 at Auto Club Speedway. He has been an accredited member of the IndyCar media center since 2014 and also contributes to along with The Motorsports Tribune.

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