By Josh Farmer, Journalist
IndyCar has granted Honda permission to improve its aero kit in order to close the gap to rival Chevrolet.
Following aerodynamic tests at Windshear in Charlotte, North Carolina, it was determined that Honda’s aero package used on road/street courses and short ovals was found to be at a competitive disadvantage to Chevrolet and that the performance gap was big enough to implement IndyCar Rule 9.3, which states that a manufacturer can make improvements to their package if there is a clear disadvantage and it is detrimental to the series.
“We believe the situation created major issues for our Honda teams, which were under pressure from their sponsors and shareholders,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman and Company in a media teleconference this morning. “So we thought it was important to give them a chance to catch up because it was best for the overall health of IndyCar.”
Chevrolet teams won 10 out of the 16 races, took every pole position, led 82 percent of the laps and took seven of the top 10 spots in the standings.
The superspeedway aero package was found to not be at a disadvantage.
Honda has submitted updated parts to IndyCar for approval and they will be tested at Windshear for approval.
Honda has yet to officially re-up with IndyCar, but Miles added that the aero kit issue was never going to lead to the end of the road for Honda and they are expected to return.
“They never said to us, ‘You’ve got to deliver this result and give us the opportunity to change our aero kits or we’re not staying in the game,” he said.
“I think they’re committed to staying in IndyCar and it’s probably worth noting that we still have not determined what they may or may not be able to do. Those decisions will only be made once we get back in the tunnel. They do know we’re looking at it, they do know we’re going to allow them to propose changes to two of the three aero configurations but the outcome of that, we have not decided.”
IndyCar already planned to implement Rule 9.2 which allows both manufactures to work within the three legality boxes to make changes to their respective aero kits if they wish.