IndyCar's dome skid aero rows role continues into Texas test

The row over IndyCar's 'dome skid' safety rule looks set to spill over beyond the Indianapolis 500 as drivers remained divided following a test at Texas Motor Speedway on Tuesday

IndyCar's dome skid aero rows role continues into Texas test

Fifteen drivers from five teams participated in the private Texas test. No times were released.

The dome skids are in place for superspeedways such as Texas - which hosts the race after Indy next month - as a safety device to create additional downforce and diminish the chances of cars becoming airborne in the event of a high-speed slide or spin.

While the majority of the test session was held with cars running individually or spaced in small groups, the teams agreed to run some group sessions for data.

The group sessions were as large as 10 to 11 cars and the results showed drivers were still able to use multiple lanes and run extremely close side-by-side.

The Honda teams have led criticism of the dome skids, and Rahal Letterman Lanigan's Graham Rahal said the effect at Texas was as bad as it had been in last month's Indianapolis tests.

"They make a difference. My car is pretty loose here," he said.

"It was really loose during testing at Indy.

"The guys that tell you it doesn't make a difference are lying. There is obviously some politics going on."

Honda has pushed unsuccessfully for strakes to be added to recover the downforce it says the dome skids have removed.

"The Chevy guys don't want the sidewalls [strakes], but we need it," Rahal said.

"It definitely affects my car a lot, but we are going to keep working hard and put our heads down and try to make the best of it.

"I hate that this has become a topic of conversation.

"We should be talking about how great the Indy 500 is; instead we are talking about dome skids. Nobody even knows what the heck that is."

Three-time Indy 500 winner and four-time Texas winner Helio Castroneves believes the safety aspects of the dome skid are being overshadowed in a political game between the two auto manufacturers.

"I'm not going to go into a Honda versus Chevrolet dispute, but my thing is that I was the one upside down last year [at Indy] and no question that's what we are looking for with safety," said Castroneves, whose Penske team uses Chevy kit.

"It adds at least 500 to 1000 pounds more downforce, which means you are going to keep the car on the ground.

"I feel the IndyCar Series is doing the right thing to test that.

"The dome skid is not going to hurt the quality of the racing.

"Right now, there seems to be a big challenge between Chevy and Honda with the aero kit. I think this is more about that. I still don't think it's going to hurt."

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