Based on the Dallara DW12 chassis – introduced three years ago and named after the late Dan Wheldon – Chevy's new package is designed for road courses and short ovals, with the speedway configuration to be revealed later. The kit features new wings front and rear and more sculpted side pods. It's also got new wedges at the back to envelop the otherwise open wheels that are a hallmark of Indy racing, a more streamlined engine cover and bigger rear bumper pods.
The new package will debut at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg that will kick off this year's championship in Florida on March 29, followed by the road-course grands prix in Louisiana, Long Beach, Alabama and Indianapolis before the new package needs to be ready for the Indy 500 late in May. Half of the teams on the starting grid this season will be running under Chevy power and are expected to use this new aero kit, with the remaining Honda teams slated to run a different package of their own.
Chevy-developed bodywork delivers improved aerodynamics
INDIANAPOLIS – Chevrolet-powered racecars in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series will feature Chevrolet-developed aero packages.
Chevrolet introduced the road course/short oval body design today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It is distinguished from the previous racecar with new front wing elements, sculpted side pods and a new rear wing.
A speedway configuration for the aero kit, designed for high-speed ovals, will be introduced ahead of its competitive debut at Indianapolis in May.
"This is an important milestone in Chevrolet's involvement in IndyCar racing," said Jim Campbell, General Motors U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. "We focused on developing an aerodynamic package that delivers an balanced combination of downforce and drag, along with integrated engine performance. It's a total performance package."
The new Chevy road course aero configuration delivers greater aerodynamic performance than the previous design.
"This new aero kit provides Chevrolet drivers the capability to enter and exit corners faster, while maintaining high speeds on the straights," said Chris Berube, Chevrolet IndyCar program manager.
Development of Chevrolet's new IndyCar aero package consisted of nine key phases:
- Conducted baseline analysis of the "DW12" racecar aerodynamics
- Established clear design goals for the new aero kit, which included making the most of downforce, drag and engine performance
- Developed design concepts using computer-aided design (CAD)
- Analyzed structural properties, using finite element analysis (FEA)
- Simulated aerodynamic properties using computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
- Produced test parts using rapid prototyping processes, such as 3D printing
- Conducted testing of a 50-percent scale model in a rolling–road wind tunnel
- Conducted testing of a full-scale racecar in a rolling-road wind tunnel
- Conducted track testing of prototype aero kit on select race tracks, including Homestead-Miami Speedway, Circuit of The Americas (Austin, Texas), Texas Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway.
"We took a clean-sheet approach to the aero kit, delivering an optimized and efficient design that should really give our Chevrolet teams an edge," said Berube.
The road course configuration's changes over the 2014 DW12 aero package are easily identified by major components, including:
- Front wing that features new pedestal-mounted "front uppers" toward the outer edges
- New sculpted "wheel wedges" in front of the rear tires
- An engine cover and side pods that have more compact shapes, achieved through a revised turbocharger and exhaust system layout
- New larger rear bumper pods
- A multi-element upper rear wing, along with louvered end plates.
The all-new Chevrolet racecars will compete for the first time on March 29 at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Fla.
Will Power drove his Team Penske Chevrolet to the Verizon IndyCar Championship in 2014, while teammates Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya finished second and fourth in points, respectively. Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan, from Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, finished third and seventh in points, respectively, giving Chevrolet five of the top seven places. Chevrolet claimed its third straight manufacturer title 2014 and has won it each year since re-entering IndyCar racing in 2012.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.8 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.