Chevrolet warns there's no 'magic fix' for IndyCar airborne crashes

Chevrolet has warned that it would be wrong to believe aero changes made by IndyCar following the Indianapolis 500 will eliminate the possibility of cars getting airborne in accidents

Chevrolet warns there's no 'magic fix' for IndyCar airborne crashes

IndyCar has implemented the use of closure guards on the rear wheel panels for both the Chevy and Honda kits, as well as setting a rear wing angle of -6 to -10.5 degrees, which will lead to a downforce increase compared to last year's Texas race.

The two manufacturers have been working with each other as well as Dallara and IndyCar to try to isolate the factors that caused three cars - all Chevys - to launch during accidents at Indy.

While the manufacturers and IndyCar are both confident the changes being introduced for Texas will represent a step forwards, Chevrolet's IndyCar programme manager Chris Berube told AUTOSPORT the problem is one that can only ever be controlled, rather than eliminated.

"There's no magic fix that's going to ever prevent it from happing," he said.

"It's about better understanding when it might happen.

"The conditions that caused those cars to do what they did involved hitting the wall going backwards - the wall was definitely a contributing factor.

"And crash dynamics are very transient and very difficult to model. There are a million combinations for how a crash can proceed.

"[When] they hit the wall, the right-rear kicks up in the air, so now the car is in a rear-inverted position, and that's what we're studying - rearward-travelling conditions with various different levels of rear-up."

The initial designs from both manufacturers were required to ensure that the cars equaled or surpassed the Dallara aero in stability during a flat spin, with which both complied.

But IndyCar's president of competition and operations Derrick Walker (pictured) explained that the regulations did not account for a car reaching that degree of yaw with its rear already elevated.

"The rules never specified that you have to go backwards at 200mph with your gearbox three-and-a-half degrees, or 10 degrees, in the air, and [have the car] stay on the ground," Walker said.

"I don't think there's been a car that has ever been asked to do that."

Walker praised the co-operation between rival manufacturers Honda and Chevrolet in working to come up with a safer aero solution.

"This is where I have to compliment our manufacturers, because when they present solution as they see it ... they've both been good at testing both of those options and giving us the data that we've asked for," he said.

"It makes it really easy when they both say, 'yeah, it does this, and here's how much it does it'. So we can compare.

"And the changes that we have for Texas have been done with the agreement of both manufacturers.

"Sometimes you don't get that, but with the changes for Texas they both agree that the change is worth doing, and that it's a relatively easy change."

shares
comments
Detroit IndyCar: Sebastien Bourdais wins wild second race for KV
Previous article

Detroit IndyCar: Sebastien Bourdais wins wild second race for KV

Next article

No proof of Indy 500 crashes being linked to Chevrolet aero kit

No proof of Indy 500 crashes being linked to Chevrolet aero kit
Load comments
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 21, 2021
How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential Plus

How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential

Romain Grosjean's swashbuckling rookie year in IndyCar captured the imagination of many in 2021. But another ex-Formula 1 driver whose potential was masked by five years of toil in, at best, middling machinery also enjoyed a breakout year in 2021 - winning twice and finishing sixth in points. Here's how Marcus Ericsson finally delivered on his promise

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best Plus

How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best

IndyCar sophomore Alex Palou stunned by overcoming team-mate Scott Dixon and the rest of a white-hot field in 2021. He was consistently fast and crucially showed a level head, rebounding well from setbacks to put himself in a near unassailable position entering the final round

IndyCar
Nov 4, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Plus

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Despite appearing to have an IndyCar job for life with Meyer Shank Racing, Jack Harvey’s departure and move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate. However, Harvey's and RLL's combined strengths could prove to be a winning combination - if they get the balance right

IndyCar
Oct 17, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win Plus

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win

Saturday 16 October marks the 10th anniversary of Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Plus

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong junior career and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star Plus

Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star

Newly-crowned IndyCar champion Alex Palou has been lauded as a complete driver and veteran-like in only his second season. The 24-year-old is still in the early days of his career, but the parallels are there for all to see with his six-time champion Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate who has been CGR's team leader since 2014

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Plus

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets is now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021