Archive for March 15, 2015


By Dave Lewandowski – 

Chevrolet & Honda have unveiled computer-generated models of their road/street course and short oval aerodynamic bodywork platforms, and the radical packages will spring to life March 16-17 when Verizon IndyCar Series teams convene at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama for the initial multi-day on-track examination.

“It’s kind of like taking the SATs; everyone is cramming for the big test, which is St. Pete,” said Josef Newgarden, who enters his fourth season in the No. 67 CFH Racing Chevrolet.

The season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is March 29 (3 p.m. ET, ABC).

“There’s a lot of work to do to try to figure out how the aero kits work on track. Set-ups will change, driving styles will change a little bit. It’s exciting and a new challenge,” added Newgarden.


The March 16 sessions (10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-6 p.m. local) on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn Barber road course are free and open to the public. Live lap timing both days will be available on Each car will receive six sets of Firestone primary tires for the test.

Click it: Promoter Test at Barber Motorsports Park entry list || March 16-17 schedule

Most teams will take advantage of the test window that opens March 13 by converging March 14 on NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, Louisana, for a group study session.

Check the afternoon of March 14 for the first look of the aero kits on track.

On March 13, CFH Racing co-owner/driver Ed Carpenter and Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves will test Chevrolet’s full-scale speedway aero kit for the first time at Texas Motor Speedway.

The speedway bodywork components for Texas Motor Speedway, Pocono Raceway, Auto Club Speedway and the Indianapolis 500 (rear wing main plane exclusive to that race) are to be delivered to teams by April 1. Because each of Chevrolet’s four teams has a full kit in house, teams/drivers are allowed to begin on-track development.

“The nice thing is we do have two cars now so we can split up some of the work,” said Newgarden, who is among the 20 drivers scheduled to drive on the 2.74-mile, 13-turn NOLA road course that will host the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana on April 12.

Also on March 13, the No. 28 Andretti Autosport Honda driven by Ryan Hunter-Reay will be on the Sebring International Raceway short course.

“I think we’re all holding our breath on St. Pete because that will be the first idea we have of all the work that’s gone into it the past couple of years,” said Hunter-Reay, the 2012 Verizon IndyCar Series champion and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner.

“There are so many unknowns. No matter what, there’s a lot of work ahead for the teams to find the best combination for us at a given track and race weekend.”

Cars will be differentiated by their shape as manufacturers have taken distinctively different approaches to increase downforce and reduce drag. Multiple component options are available to suit drivers and the diverse set of racetracks on the schedule. References to the cars will incorporate the name of the corresponding manufacturer.

“This will be not only a competition of engine manufacturer versus engine manufacturer. The aero kits are now a component of their package,” INDYCAR president of competition and operations Derrick Walker said. “It will add a lot of performance to the competition.

“When you say to designers and engine manufacturers, ‘OK, you can make some changes here. Go do what you can,’ you’ll get some different shapes and certainly get more performance. So more parts, sexier parts, more efficient designs that aid the performance. For the casual fan and those who follow the tech side, there’s a lot more to look at.”

This report originally published here

Images and Data courtesy of IndyCar 


Bowers & Wilkins has expanded its role with Bryan Herta Autosport in partnership with Bowen Motorsports to be the primary sponsor of the No. 98 Honda driven by Gabby Chaves for the Verizon IndyCar Series season that starts March 29 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Since 1966, Bowers & Wilkins has developed high-end audio equipment, including recording studio, automotive, home and theater applications. The company, with headquarters in England, has been an associate sponsor of the team since 2012.

Technology is at the forefront of Bowers & Wilkins’ business, which correlates to the Verizon IndyCar Series.

“IndyCar provides a great opportunity for us to engage our national dealer network and expose the brand to our target demographic,” Bowers & Wilkins chairman and CEO Joe Atkins said.

Chaves, the 2014 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion, will be in the No. 98 entry March 16-17 at Barber Motorsports Park as part of the Verizon IndyCar Series Promoter Test of the new aerodynamic bodywork components supplied by Chevrolet and Honda.


AVONDALE, Louisiana (March 14, 2015) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLLR) and driver Graham Rahal completed their first test day with Honda’s all-new aero­dy­namic kit today at the 2.67-mile NOLA Motor­sports Park road course. The team previ­ously tested at this track February 10 – 11.

Overall the day was pretty good,” said Rahal, who completed 80 laps. “We didn’t get to run our last set of tires but I don’t think many people did. I would have liked to have picked up a bit more speed; our fastest lap was on old tires so I was kind of hoping to see what we could do on new tires but we just never really got to wring its neck. For our first day, the car feels decent and for it to be the first time we have run with this aero kit and to have been right up there with the fastest Honda team, and be the fastest one this morning felt pretty good. We’ve got a little more work to do to catch up to the fastest guys but all in all its pretty close and we feel pretty good about it.

In some areas you notice the differ­ence the aero kit makes and others, not as much,” added Rahal on the feeling of driving the car with the new aero kit compared to the previous config­u­ra­tion. “When we talk about more down­force, typi­cally that is higher speed so in the high speed areas, sure you can feel it but in the slower speed areas it’s not as notice­able. We have been waiting for this day for a long time and I’m very happy it went as well as it did. We will keep working on it, get better and better and I think we will be good in the end.”

The team will travel to Barber Motor­sports Park tomorrow for a series-wide open test March 16 – 17.

The 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season begins with the Fire­stone Grand Prix of St. Peters­burg on March 29. For more infor­ma­tion, log on to, or