Both are based on the Dallara DW12 chassis introduced to the series a couple of years ago, but sacrifice some of their downforce at the altar of speed. And you can tell as much from looking at them: both Honda (above) and Chevy (below) have streamlined their designs, with single-plane front wings, lower-profile rear wings and fewer winglets on the body and around the wheels in between. The idea is to allow the cars to reach higher top speeds with less drag, while offering the necessary amount of downforce for the banked turns.
With the four opening road-course rounds complete, teams using either automaker's equipment will keep the existing aero kits on their cars for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the infield course next week, then switch to the speedway package for the Indianapolis 500 later this month. Then it'll be back and forth for the rest of the season as the circus switches between road courses and speedways.
Apr 30, 2015 - SPEEDWAY, Indiana
- To be used at the Indianapolis 500
- Manufacturer seeking 11th Indianapolis 500 victory since 2004
- First public running to take place Sunday at Indianapolis
Honda today debuted the "Super Speedway" aero kit of aerodynamic upgrades and components its teams will use at this year's 99th running of the Indianapolis 500.
The Honda Super Speedway Aero Kit, produced by Honda Performance Development, Honda's racing arm in North America, includes a variety of individual aerodynamic components fitted to the existing Honda-powered Dallara Indy car chassis. All are intended to give Honda's six Indy car teams – encompassing a potential 17 '500' entrants - the ability to maximize performance at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval and other large ovals ( over one mile in length) on the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule.
"We're excited to unveil our Super Speedway aero kit, the newest element in this era of enhanced manufacturer competition in the Verizon IndyCar Series," said Art St. Cyr, president of HPD. "Coupled to our proven Honda Indy V6 engines, these aero kits are the products of thousands of hours of research, development and testing, as we seek to give our drivers and teams the tools they need to win the race that Honda holds as its most important goal each season: The Indianapolis 500."
Honda's Indy car aero kits were developed by utilizing the latest in Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) technology, then validated using Driver-In-Loop (DIL) Simulators. This process minimized waste at the prototype stage, and allowed aerodynamic direction to be determined prior to the creation of full-size components.
Full-scale wind tunnel testing was used to confirm actual aerodynamic performance characteristics and create aero maps to be used during on-track testing. Final proof-of-concept correlation then took place with on-track testing prior to the start of production earlier this year.
The complete Super Speedway Aero Kit provides Honda drivers and teams with a range of configurations to tune the cars to their desired characteristics for Indianapolis, a circuit where fine-tuning is essential to achieve optimum performance.
Honda's Indy car aero kits will make their public on-track debut during an Open Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 3. Official practice for the Indianapolis 500 opens on Monday, May 11, with the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 scheduled for Sunday, May 24.
About Honda Performance Development
HPD was founded in 1993 to spearhead Honda's entry into Indy car racing. No other manufacturer has matched Honda's success in Indy cars, which includes 212 race victories, 15 drivers' championships, six competitive manufacturers' championships and 10 Indianapolis 500 victories since 2004, including the 2014 event won by Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport.
In addition to Indy car competition, HPD and Honda have a history of success in the classic endurance sports car races, including a pair of LMP2 wins and a privateer LMP1 victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans since 2010; as well as multiple American Le Mans Series championships and five LMP2 class victories at the 12 Hours of Sebring since 2007. HPD's Honda engines have recorded 74 race wins at endurance sports car races around the world, with 70 of those victories coming in the HPD-developed line of sports prototype cars.
HPD offers a complete line of race engines for cars from grass roots to pinnacle; for professional, amateur and entry-level racers. For more information about HPD and the company's racing product lines, please visit http://hpd.honda.com.
Chevrolet Speedway Aero Kit Revealed for Indy 500
Specially developed low-drag bodywork enables high speeds, stability
INDIANAPOLIS – Chevrolet introduced its speedway aero kit to be used on high-speed ovals in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series – including features developed exclusively for running the Indianapolis 500.
The speedway configuration, which was developed in conjunction with the road course configuration, emphasizes the low-drag attributes that enable Chevrolet race cars to achieve speeds of more than 230 mph at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's famous 2.5-mile oval.
"With the speedway configuration, the emphasis is on reducing aerodynamic drag, for greater speed, while maintaining sufficient downforce," said Chris Berube, Chevrolet IndyCar program manager. "Innovative designs were used to develop the right combination of downforce and drag, along with engine performance."
Highlights of the new design include:
- Unique mainplane surface contour serves two purposes, the inboard section directs air to the radiator inlets to enhance engine cooling while the outboard section creates airflow around the front tire to minimize drag.
Engine cover and side pods
- The engine cover and side pods are shared with the road course configuration, but are optimized in their speedway configuration by adding close out panels to their trailing edges to reduce drag.
- Louvers in the side pods provide cooling benefits and clean airflow to the rear of the car, delivering higher levels of diffuser and rear wing efficiency.
- The wheel wedge configuration is fully adjustable, providing various levels of downforce and efficiency to meet changing track conditions.
Rear bumper pods
- The rear bumper pods and wheel wedges were designed as an integrated solution to reduce vehicle drag.
- A high-efficiency upper rear wing, unique for the Indy 500, features low-mass rear wing pillars and a low-mass rear mainplane.
Chevrolet race teams will compete with the road course aero kit on May 9 for the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, on Indy's infield road course, before converting their cars to the speedway aero kit for the Indianapolis 500 on May 24.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 115 countries and selling around 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.