IndyCar could switch to standard aero kit for 2017 season

IndyCar could switch to a standard aero kit for 2017 to try to lower costs and eliminate the disparity between Chevrolet and Honda

IndyCar could switch to standard aero kit for 2017 season

Series CEO Mark Miles is considering a single kit rather than scrapping the entire project completely because of the engineering enhancements the kits have brought to the series.

"We have a lot of things on the table for next year and one single aero kit for both Honda and Chevrolet is one of the things we are considering," IndyCar president of competition and operations Jay Frye told Autosport.

"We are looking at a lot of different things regarding the car for 2017 so a single aero kit is not the only area we are looking at."

Aero kits were part of former CEO Randy Bernard's original plan when the new chassis concept was announced in 2010.

He hoped it would entice companies such as General Electric and Lockheed Aerospace, but with none forthcoming a standard version of the DW12 was used for 2012-14.

Derrick Walker revived the aero kit idea during his tenure as competition chief, but the only takers were existing engine manufacturers Honda and Chevrolet.

Honda team owners Michael Andretti and Sam Schmidt led criticism of aero kits, arguing the estimated $30million cost would have been better spent on a new television package and promotion.

With limited opportunity to change the kits once homologated there was also the prospect of half the field being at a competitive disadvantage, as it proved with Honda struggling with excess drag from its kit.

"It's not a maybe - we have to go to a standard aero kit for both makes," Andretti told Autosport.

Inevitably Mike Hull, managing director of Chevrolet team Chip Ganassi Racing, disagrees.

"I think that is raising a white flag," Hull told Autosport.

"The purpose of it was to create technology and if somebody thinks the manufacturers can't create technology that is worthy of it then I guess we need to go in a different direction.

"IndyCar racing is in a position to make a large statement going forward because the opportunity they have is this landscape in front of them where they can create a new chassis formula and I think they should take full advantage of that.

"They should incorporate a set of rules that make it better for the race team, the manufacturers and the sanctioning body to be involved."

Honda Performance Development president Art St Cyr confirmed to Autosport that a single aero kit is under discussion.

"It was never in our core that it was something we wanted to do - it was something we had to do," he said of the introduction of aero kits.

"We need to look at what we are trying to do in IndyCar.

"What is the best path forward for the health of the teams, the manufacturers and series?

"How do we get more fans in and higher TV ratings?

"We want to make sure everybody agrees on our purpose and we want to pick the best path moving forward."

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