Yuhs know like Your Father’s Oldsmobile. Uh, where
did They go?
Having given my two pesos worth upon the “Marketing”
and Packaging side of IndyCar recently. Where presumably I may be considered to
be a Card Carrying Member of les Miserables’! For which I’m just trying to work
thru the endless amount of “Debbie Downers” IndyCar produced over Ye miserably,long
Offseason before we go racing. I’ll try tackling some of the technical issues
facing Indy Cars currently.
Yet like that much abused and over used Slogan.
I’m Not an Engineer, and I most definitely Didn’t stay at a Best Western or whatever
that Hotel Chain is?
just really cannot get very excited over either Formula 1 or IndyCar right now,
including finishing this languishing two part No Fenders story. Especially with
IMSA’s brand new, shiny GTP Hybrid Prototypes stealing All of the Attenzione
Whilst it’s certainly Old News over IndyCar belatedly
Shelving it’s once vaunted “Loud ‘N Bold” 2.4-litre (ERS) Energy Recovery
System, ergo Hybrid motors that most lately were supposed to debut in 2024. For
which Racer’s Marshall Pruett eloquently summed up in his article last year
that so enraged some of the Hierarchy at Starship IndyCar!
Since I can still
Hear Marshall mimicking El Capitano’ in the Daytona Paddock saying “I thought
You were our Friend!”
Instead of totally rehashing what’s already
been said, I’ll try looking at some of the other technical issues surrounding
What seems to be getting very little traction, except
for when Marshall Pruett wrote about it following their initial tests. And as
one astute Week in IndyCar Podcast participant, or was it the Racer Mailbag?
Noted How Thars currently No plans for
increasing the current 2.2-litre twin turbo V-6 engines “Base” Horsepower. Which
will be mated to a Spec ERS unit weighing More than the current Gearbox ancillaries.
Meaning that future performance output will Decrease Overall! And Yes, I know
that the ERS will provide extra Horsepower “Oomph,” but I tend to think it’s
only being used to replace the vaunted P2P, i.e.; Push-to-Pass extra Horsepower.
Thinking I’ve read/heard an extra 100bhp?
As All four of the IndyCar Drivers that
participated last year in the “Dry Run” test, i.e.; Pato O’Ward, Josef
Newgarden, Alexander Rossi and Helio Castroneves All stated when Bolting an
additional 100lbs to the rear of their DW12’s to mimic the new ERS systems added
weight, noted how Horribly Slow it was in the corners, Braking and
Acceleration, etc. With Newgarden going even so far as saying it would make it more
difficult for the “Average” IndyCar driver to drive!
Which I get how at least one of the two current
engine manufacturers, i.e.; Chevrolet and Honda said either IndyCar goes Hybrid
or they Walk! But if your “New & Improved” racecar is Slower than the
previous Vintage eligible model. Then, what’s exactly the point behind this?
Beside being able to tout you’ve gone Hybrid.
In the December 28th Racer Mailbag, Marshall
Pruett notes that the majority of the expected $250-300,000 upgrade Cost for
Indy Cars “Hybridization” will be for the brand new ERS Bell Housing, for which
I can only Arse-sume is for each individual chassis a team owns. Since it would
seem a stretch to be swapping these out frequently, i.e.; separate Road and Street
Course and Oval Chassis. Not to mention that Nobody’s talking about how long
they’ll last? And what happens due to either Crash damage or mechanical
Meanwhile no one less than Adrian Newey, a
Bloke who knows a decent amount about designing racecars! Is quoted saying How He
believes that Formula One’s Sustainability push is Illogical! And that Everybody’s
missing the point in regards to motor racing and the Automotive Industry as a
whole. That they’re All missing the point of How much (extra) energy it takes
to keep these Heavier Hybrid vehicles moving!
And that’s without even getting into the
incessant Greenwashing that All of Motorsports seems to be doing in a concerted
effort with the Auto Manufacturers over Zero emissions et Al! Which I’m saving
to tackle in a separate post! As Sorry IndyCar, but you’re Nowhere near being
sustainable, so Put A Sock in It, will Yuhs!
Although in Indy Cars defense, I believe they’re
working on a titanium Bell Housing version to get the weight down to only 80lbs
additionally overall. Along with what Arse-sumedly the world’s first ever ERS
system used on Ovals. Not to mention the extremely tight packaging constraints,
since there’s Zero room for the traditional Battery pack, et Al on a IndyCar
Meanwhile, Marshall’s been trumpeting the
charge for IndyCar to come up with a different engine formulae, specifically
one that allows multiple different engine specifications. For which I’m
currently wondering why turbocharging is the preferred choice over
As why couldn’t Indy Cars allow us to return to
the era of Straight eight cylinder “Blown” racing engines?
As I grew up in the era of CART, i.e.;
Championship Auto Racing Teams, which arguably were the Baddest Arse era of
Indy Cars! And featured such diverse engines from Ford/Cosworth,
Chevrolet/Mercedes Benz/Ilmor, Honda, Toyota, Porshce and Alfa Romeo. All being
of the sport’s de riggour 2.65-litre V-8 single turbocharger era.
And that’s without mentioning those ubiquitous
Buick Stock Block motors. Y’all know the ‘lil Buick Indy V-6’s lumps’ that were
notorious for being fast, unreliable “Hand Grenades!”
Although I tend to recall that there were
previous attempts with Chevrolet Stock Block engines. Whilst the Buick’s were produced
between 1982-1997, which I don’t know if that includes it’s later Indy Racing
League Menards guise or not?
As the slightly oversized three litre (3.03 displacement)
90 degree V-6 motor with it’s single Garret turbocharger were claimed to produce
an amazing 800-900bhp!
And yes, I’m aware that Buick V-6 Shod racecars
won Pole positions at Mother Speedway. And that if I remember correctly? Big Al’
(Unser) even finished third in one Indianapolis 500 for Kenny Bernstein’s King
While I also recall that Honda initially began the
2.2-litre era using just a single turbocharger before being mandated to use two
a la Chevy.
As you’ve gotta wonder why IndyCar has been
completely unable for a Decade now to coax a third engine manufacturer into
racing in IndyCar’s?
Or is the series itself just so “Spooked” to allow multiple, different engine configurations after somebody named El Capitano’, nee Roger Penske exploited the Rulebook when unleashing that Mercedes Benz Stock Block V-8 motor that Decimated the entire Indy 500 field in 1994…