March 23, 2012
After an offseason of uncertainty and track testing, IZOD IndyCar Series drivers are excited about the new Dallara DW12 chassis. The car was renamed in honor of the late Dan Wheldon, who was the initial development driver.
As the first major modification in nearly a decade, the new model has gone through many designs, updates and tweaks—the latest being just last week. Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver and four-time series champion #10 Dario Franchitti asked Dallara to shift the brake pedal from the left to the right, allowing for right-foot braking. Now any driver can request a kit that shifts the brake pedal back to its former right-foot setup.
As Target drivers Dario and Scott Dixon get used to their new ride, we went under the hood to better understand the car changes. So, we asked Tessa Ganassi—daughter of famed driver, racing wiz, and team owner Chip Ganassi—to explain the new features in the diagrams below.
THE 2011 INDYCAR
“Overall the 2012 car is safer, an easier fit for the drivers, and allows them to compete at a high level, while saving energy,” says Tessa.
The new design will also help keep the car glued to the track, rather than relying on the rear wings. “More ‘grip’ on the car is good,” she explains. Best of all? The cars are lighter—for both road courses and ovals—and have a smaller engine, which is more environmentally friendly than last year’s model.
Want more? Below, #9 Scott Dixon shows off the DW12. Gotta love that new car smell!
Illustrations by Erik Askin
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