Photo from twitter.com
New Year, New Look . . . Next Year: So-called “uniform body kits,” spec chassis set to replace the aborted IndyCar aero kits, will be previewed in a test on February 10th at PIR. Unfortunately, they’re not set to debut in action until 2018. Brant James recently agreed with us on the egregious aero kits, writing of the “unpopular and expensive assemblies” going away after this season – and none too soon.
He also quoted IndyCar president of competition ol’ Jay Frye on the mysterious appearance of the forthcoming chassis, who cited “cool” looking “bits and pieces” from “the past twenty years,” with “a lot of retro.” Encouragingly, Frye claimed the new design would be “lower, sleeker, what an IndyCar has historically looked like.” Perhaps over-promising, the competition president predicted the experience would be “aesthetically exciting for the fans.” Depends upon the quality of the grid girls, obviously. Chassis that aren’t aesthetically appalling would be an improvement, and we hope he’s not speaking of NASCAR fans.
Optimism Abounds, Apparently: Between Frye’s gushing about the next generation of chassis and Mark Miles‘ ebullience about his sketchy schedule, increased viewership, and the “eerie, weird quiet” currently enveloping the series, we’re beside ourselves. An end to the ungainly ass pods and atrocious aero kits alone is worth celebrating with a week-long bender. It’s a stupendous start.
Image from twitter.com
Miles blathered on about “acceptance in the marketplace” and “new marketing materials” and other accounting-babble – all positive, apparently. He proudly pointed to the “stability” of the series and the void this has created. Weird stuff, huh? In our view, a schedule with more oval tracks and fewer month-long gaps in it would help immensely.
This Little Pigot Went Nowhere: To no one’s surprise IndyCar’s driver lineup remains unchanged, again. Spencer Pigot will return to Ed Carpenter Racing’s 20 car for the road courses this season, as somebody’s got to drive it. Spencer started out with Rahal Lanigan Letterman last year, finishing with ECR and achieving a top finish of seventh at Mid-Ohio for Ed. The twenty three year old American hit everything from the safer barrier at Indy to an air gun at Detroit last year, yet vowed to “fight at the front” in 2017. We like his spirit.
Photo from twitter.com
In other static news, NAPA will return to Indy 500 winner Rossi‘s livery, Englishman Max “Paris” Chilton will once again wheel it in Ganassi’s unaltered lineup and most alarmingly of all no personnel changes at race control have been announced. Speaking of unchanged, the 2017 IndyCar schedule can be found here, with our thoughts on it here.