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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

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."

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