IndyCar’s New Chassis Committee

Time will tell what will come of the IZOD IndyCar Series committee approach to selecting a new chassis builder for the 2012 season and beyond. IRL CEO Randy Bernard initially chose retired US Air Force General William R. Looney III to chair the group- Looney being a friend of Bernard. The car owners’ group picked Luzco Dragon Racing co-owner Gil de Ferran as their rep on the board. Looney promised that the other members- a league rep, an engine expert, a marketer/promoter and a racing engineer- will be in place within a week. They are empowered to choose a new chassis design from the five proposals that the IndyCar Series has received, and they hope to make that decision by June. IndyCar invited engine manufacturers to also submit proposals after holding round table meetings in 2008-09, but lately not much has been heard from those who did show an interest. Honda is the sole supplier at this time, but they have said in the past that they prefer to have competition in series in which they compete.

? With rain winning the battle at St Petersburg (IZOD IndyCar Series), as well as in Martinsville (NASCAR), this column can’t remember the last time both major series were rained-out on the same weekend. They will try again on Monday, interrupting both ABC and Fox daytime network schedules.

? While providing interesting story lines in the recent ALMS Sebring 12-hour endurance race, it continues to be obvious that both sports car series, ALMS and NASCAR’s Grand AM, need to change their approach to that style of racing in order to bring more cars to the grid. ALMS has tried to promote a more high tech approach over the years, encouraging manufacturers to participate in their various prototype and GT classes, while Grand Am promotes lower cost spec racing with a few chassis/ engine combinations. We’ve always liked sports car racing, but when races are endurance events of various lengths, more cars are needed and it would serve both series to merge under a common set of rules. Perhaps the participating factory teams could lead the way in bringing the groups together so that road racing could regain the hold on the public that it enjoyed in the 60’s and 70’s.

? We attended Stan Kalwasinski’s 19th annual racing memorabilia show in Peotone, IL this past Sunday and were impressed by the variety of dealers and the large turnout. Promoter Kalwasinski, himself a veteran motorsports writer and track announcer, started this show on a small scale in Blue Island, IL in 1992, and after several moves around the Chicago area, seems to have settled in at the Will County Fairgrounds.

? In the same vein, Joan Dunn holds her Racing Memorabilia/toy car combination show on April 11th, at the Waukesha Expo just off of I94, just west of Milwaukee. Joining the numerous dealers will be several cars from John Surges’ vintage stock car group.

? And finally, congratulations to Badger Midget PR guy Bryan Gapinski and his wife Jenna, who welcomed their first heir, Kailey Joy, into the world on March 24th. Blessings to all.

Share Button