Honda gets IndyCar upgrade breaks so it can close on Chevrolet

Honda has been given permission to make changes to its IndyCar aero kit to close the gap to Chevrolet for the 2016 season, although it cannot alter its superspeedway configuration

Honda gets IndyCar upgrade breaks so it can close on Chevrolet

IndyCar regulations allow its manufacturers additional possibilities for upgrades if a performance disparity between them is deemed "detrimental" to the series.

Chevy comprehensively beat Honda in the 2015 manufacturers' race, although Honda-mounted Rahal Letterman Lanigan racer Graham Rahal was in drivers' championship contention until the final round.

ANALYSIS: IndyCar's secret manufacturer war

IndyCar CEO Mark Miles said back-to-back windtunnel tests featuring Rahal's car and the Chevy Dallara of Ganassi's series champion Scott Dixon had proved Honda was at enough of a disadvantage to create "significant hurdles" for its teams.

"The data indicated to us that for short ovals, street and road courses, the Honda kit was not competitive," said Miles.

"However, for the superspeedways, we did not come to that same conclusion. We believe their kits are competitive."

Honda will be allowed to propose upgrades that will give it "an opportunity to catch up but not exceed the place where the Chevy kits have been in 2015 before both have the opportunity under [rule] 9.2 to make additional changes for next year", Miles explained.

Further windtunnel testing at the Windshear facility will take place before Honda learns if its proposed changes will be approved.

Miles now expects Honda to finalise its continued participation in IndyCar - which had yet to be officially confirmed - shortly, although he denied the series had felt obliged to allow development breaks or risk losing Honda.

"We never felt like there was a gun placed to our head by Honda," he said.

"I think they're committed to IndyCar."

CHEVY VS HONDA 2015

Wins
Chevy: 10 Honda: 6

Poles
Chevy: 16 Honda: 0

Fastest laps
Chevy: 12 Honda: 4

Total podiums
Chevy: 32 Honda: 16

Laps led
Chevy: 1830 Honda: 402

Manufacturers' points
Chevy: 1645 Honda: 1179

Drivers in top 10 in points
Chevy: 7 Honda: 3

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