The 2018 car for the Verizon IndyCar Series was tested for the first time today, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Both Chevrolet and Honda tested the new universal aero kit, with drivers Juan Montoya and Oriol Servia.
Both Montoya (Chevrolet) and Servia (Honda) turned more than 100 laps each on the world famous 2.5-mile oval under warm, sunny skies. “From Lap 1, it just felt at home,” said Servia. “The car felt great. I was flat on it out of the pits, which just says how good the car felt right away. I think it’s going to be a fast, good racer.”
Montoya also raved about the performance of the car. “It’s exciting because, for the first time in the car, it drives really, really well,” said the two-time Indianapolis 500 champion. “I think they addressed a lot of the things and the car looks great. I think having one aero kit for everybody is great for the sport. The car looks good and it drives really good.”
Team Penske prepared the Chevrolet car, and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports readied the Honda machine. IndyCar will retain control over the cars until all of the testing is complete later in the Fall. They had a checklist of items to run through, reserving two test days at the track. By the end of the day today, everything had been checked off, so there will not be any testing tomorrow at IMS. That is a good thing, as there were no major surprises uncovered.
There was a lot of hard work and effort put in by Jay Frye, Bill Pappas, and Tino Belli, in conjunction with Dallara to make the universal kits. Their plan was executed with precision and grace, from the very beginning. The car looks amazing, and apparently is already performing exceptionally well on track, in it’s very first test.
Frye was particularly excited to see how the car would perform from the start. “The process started a year ago April, and we took the input of our fans, drivers, teams, manufacturers, partners – everyone shares in this. There is a historical component to this design, and it comes with a very forward look and all the latest components. Although the design looked good on paper it looks even better in person. We couldn’t be more excited to get this car on the track.”
Getting an up close look at the cars today, I couldn’t be more impressed with how flawlessly the cars looked. My favorite aspect is the rear of the car, being able to see the big, wide rear tires as the machines roar by. The rear wings look even smaller than the photos suggest. You really have to be looking for it to notice it. The nose does appear slightly longer, but part of that could be the changes to the sides of the car. There just seems to be more space. The cars looked good, but they will undoubtedly look even better when teams apply their liveries.
There are three more tests planned for this year. Mid-Ohio is the next test on August 1, followed by Iowa Speedway on August 10, and the final test will take place on September 26 at Sebring International Raceway.
The Superspeedway configuration was obviously used in today’s test at IMS. The road course and short oval configurations will be run at Mid-Ohio and Iowa. The test at Sebring will be a street course simulation, and testing brakes and cooling. The first kits will be delivered to teams in November.