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

Studies of the three airborne crashes that took place during practice for last month's Indianapolis 500 have failed to prove that the problem was specific to Chevrolet's superspeedway aero kit

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

Helio Castroneves, Ed Carpenter and Josef Newgarden - all of whom were using the Chevy kit - were subjected to flips when their cars spun at high speed and hit the wall tail-first.

Both Chevrolet and Honda have been working together as well as collaborating with Dallara and IndyCar to study the phenomenon, culminating in the changes that have been introduced for this weekend's race at Texas Motor Speedway.

As a temporary measure, IndyCar forced teams at Indy to race in the aero configuration that they qualified with, effectively forcing the teams to qualify in race trim.

While Honda complied in the interests of maintaining harmony, it made no secret of the fact that it believed that its aero package was stable, and is understood to be privately unhappy with the series over how the situation was handled.

However Chevrolet's IndyCar program manager Chris Berube is confident that the factors that led to the cars flipping were not confined to the Chevy kit.

"We meet all of the regulations that were put forth by IndyCar," he told AUTOSPORT.

"We don't think that the issues that took place, as far as the cars blowing over towards the end of the crashes, is unique to our kit.

"Each one of those incidents, the crash initiation is fully understood; that's not the focus anymore.

"Any good aero kit is going to have studied stability. Obviously we've spent similar hours [to Honda] on CPU time.

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

IndyCar president of competition and operations Derrick Walker agreed that he had not seen enough evidence to convince him that only Chevrolet's aero package was vulnerable.

"We didn't see a Honda car in qualifying specification have the same kind of crash," Walker told AUTOSPORT.

"Unfortunately, we saw three Chevys. So the jury is still out.

"If you asked Honda, they'd say that they are very, very confident that their car would not do that.

"But we don't see any data that would confirm that necessarily, and we didn't see any accidents that would tell us one way or the other.

"We went on the assumption that both would [take off]. There was no other assumption that we could have been left with."

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

Previous article

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

Next article

Texas IndyCar: Simon Pagenaud leads Penske one-two in practice

Texas IndyCar: Simon Pagenaud leads Penske one-two in practice
Load comments
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  

Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over Plus

Why IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still far from over

OPINION: The 2021 IndyCar silly season has been one of the silliest for many years, as many talented drivers remain in play – with new pieces to the puzzle being added all the time. Here's what we know so far about who will end up where in 2022

IndyCar
Sep 15, 2021
Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears Plus

Why IndyCar's generational shift isn't as stark as it appears

OPINION: The rise of two drivers racing only their second full-season IndyCar campaigns to head the points with four races to go has led to some observers doubting the credentials of the old guard. But they haven't faded away, there's merely a deeper talent pool that is helping to make this season one of the best in recent years

IndyCar
Aug 20, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie Plus

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indycar rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in Indycar for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular team-mate Mauro Martini's passion for racing

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority Plus

The two key areas where Dixon needs to re-assert his authority

OPINION: Having been Chip Ganassi Racing's IndyCar focal point for the best part of a decade, Scott Dixon has been so far outgunned by new team-mate Alex Palou in 2021. After finishing behind the Spaniard at his traditional happy hunting ground at Mid-Ohio, Dixon has work to do to assume his traditional position in the team and the standings

IndyCar
Jul 6, 2021
The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far Plus

The winners and losers of IndyCar 2021 so far

At the halfway point in the 2021 IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels?

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Plus

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, he explained his tactics

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021