“Apparently, science works.” That’s what IndyCar driver Oriol Servia had to say after climbing out of the open cockpit of the latest Dallara chassis at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
He’s right, of course – both generally, and in the specific case of the new aero kit designed for road courses, street circuits, and short oval tracks.
Compared to the superspeedway configuration revealed at the Brickyard last week, the new package features more downforce for tighter turns at lower speeds. But it has less downforce than the previous packages designed by Chevrolet and Honda to go with their engines.
And with more of the downforce generated from under the floor, there’s also less turbulence behind, all of which adds up to more passing and harder work for the drivers. That means better racing.
“The (new) car is a little more forgiving, but the level of downforce is a lot lighter so you slide around a lot more. That, I think, is good,” said two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya, who tested the Honda-powered car alongside Servia in the Chevy.
“I think you’re going to be able to see the (driver’s) hands moving a lot more on the steering wheel and I think you’re going to see the cars get out of shape a lot easier. The chances of mistakes are higher, so I think it’s going to bring better racing.”
“It’s harder to see the driver work when you have a lot of downforce (on the current car),” added Servia. “When you have a little less (downforce) and the cars move around, at least the fans can see that we’re doing something. Good or bad, we are doing something. I think it’s going to be more fun for the fans and for us.”