FanPost

What they're saying about the 2012 IndyCar

Quotes from selected IZOD IndyCar Series drivers, team owners, manufacturer representatives and other officials about the 2012 car strategy unveiled by the IZOD IndyCar Series (in alphabetical order):


"The ICONIC group has come up with a smart way of bringing diversity and a new look to the 2012 IndyCar while keeping longtime partner Dallara, who has the expertise and an incredible amount of knowledge of the technical specifications of the IZOD IndyCar Series. Obviously as a team owner, I will have a lot of questions regarding this new concept, and I want to be reassured that the new rules around this car will guarantee a good operating cost control and a good open competition in between teams. It is also good to see that the state of Indiana is behind the project." -- Eric Bachelart, Owner, Conquest Racing, IZOD IndyCar Series


"I think it's great that the IZOD IndyCar Series is continuing with Dallara. They provide a great product, and they've shown they are capable of producing an elite race car. It's also good for the teams as it provides some continuity. This car will take some big steps forward in both safety and performance while also keeping in mind cost-effectiveness and efficiencies. I'm excited, and I'm looking forward to seeing and racing the finished product." -- Ryan Briscoe, Driver, Team Penske, IZOD IndyCar Series


"It's pretty exciting to see the future car for the IZOD IndyCar Series. We've had a lot of thrilling moments on the track in the Dallara IndyCar, and I'm looking forward to racing the next-generation car. It will be great to see other manufacturers involved in the sport through the aero kits, and I think that will create some interest and competition that will be good for IndyCar racing overall." -- Helio Castroneves, Driver, Team Penske, IZOD IndyCar Series
"Dallara produces some great cars, so it's good that the series is able to continue their working relationship with them. With the cars being produced in Indianapolis, it will help cut costs and produce jobs, which will help everybody. The car looks great, and the racing will be as close as ever with the increased engine power on the road courses. I can't wait to see the car in the flesh!" -- Mike Conway, Driver, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, IZOD IndyCar Series


"I think it's great that everything is far more open now, be it engineering or engine manufacturers or to bring different-looking cars to the fans. At the end of the day, I think the fans will like it and believe it's a step in the right direction." -- Scott Dixon, Driver, Target Chip Ganassi Racing, IZOD IndyCar Series


"Lotus Racing congratulates the IZOD IndyCar Series on this exciting news and supports the ICONIC Advisory Committee's recommendation on the revolutionary concept of a standard safety cell with various manufacturers producing aero kits. We look forward to seeing more details on this future car strategy, and hopefully, allow our involvement in the IZOD IndyCar Series." -- Tony Fernandes, Team Principal, Lotus Racing (Formula One), CEO Air Asia


"Cutting the cost of the chassis by 40 percent is a game-changer for the sport. After spending countless hours working with the ICONIC Committee, it became very clear that only one chassis supplier could be chosen because of the economics. For the fans, we've ensured that team owners currently in the sport can continue to participate, and we can entice new teams to join affordably. When is the last time you ever heard of the cost of a high-tech race car - the fastest in the world - dropping?" (About the fans' voice in the decision): "The fans were a major influence in this decision. They made it clear that they wanted to see some variety in the cars, and the ICONIC committee constantly factored that desire into the consideration. In a perfect world, we would have recommended multiple chassis providers, but the research-and-development costs alone would have caused the price of the cars to inflate astronomically instead of reducing them. That would have been bad for the health of IndyCar racing. The committee and the IndyCar Series technical staff have developed the concept of 'clothes,' which can be changed to allow different looks for the car. It's a smart, affordable way to offer variety while providing a known, proven, safe race car that will provide wheel-to-wheel racing action at more than 200 miles per hour. We think it's a great compromise to provide the fans with what they demand and ensure the long-term vitality of IndyCar racing." (About serving on the ICONIC Committee): "It was an honor to serve with retired Air Force General (William) Looney (committee mediator) and the other six members of the ICONIC Committee. It was an interesting process to see how this diverse group - some of whom I had never met before - mesh and work easily to reach this recommendation. We spent so much time together that I have made some rewarding, lifelong friendships with people that I can trust for advice and wise counsel. I commend Randy Bernard and the IndyCar Series technical staff for this process because it ensures buy-in from everyone within the industry. Anyone who does not get on board and help row this boat in one direction clearly has another agenda. While I know we won't agree on everything that comes up down the road, I do know that anybody that loves IndyCar racing needs to work together from this day forward. The series may be hesitant to say it, but the day is here for everybody that loves IndyCar racing to link arms and help each other out. Anybody who doesn't want to do that needs to find something else to do with their time." -- Eddie Gossage, President, Texas Motor Speedway, ICONIC Advisory Committee Member


"Today's IRL announcement is the embodiment of our vision for the Town of Speedway - a vision of racing, innovation and community. Dallara is an excellent fit for Speedway because we share a mutual dedication to the racing industry and advanced technology. We are excited to welcome them as our newest neighbor. As the home to 'The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,' the Indianapolis 500, we are proud to be a part of the continued success of the motorsports industry in Indiana and the world." -- Scott Harris, Executive Director, Speedway (Ind.) Redevelopment Commission


"The announcement is definitely creating a lot of buzz. I think the new design addresses a lot of key issues that face IndyCar racing into the future. From my perspective, competition on levels beyond just team and driver are immensely important to increasing how much people care about what's going on out on the racetrack. Having said that, maybe from a driver's perspective, I think the new car still needs to be capable of going 230 at Indy and needs to be able to set new track records on road courses. Very much looking forward to what's happening going forward." -- J.R. Hildebrand, Driver, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, IZOD IndyCar Series


"Everyone at IZOD is very excited about today's announcement because the chassis decision encompasses all of the characteristics that attracted us to the IndyCar Series as a title sponsor. The design represents innovation, speed, technology and performance, all of which are attributes of the IZOD brand. The new car, with the extra 100-horsepower push-to-pass capability, will create even greater moments of speed and competition, which is unbelievable. And the fact that they were able to accomplish all of this while keeping the costs contained and the drivers safe is a real tribute to the ICONIC committee and their forward thinking. We think this will bring the sport to whole new level of competition." -- Mike Kelly, Executive Vice President, Marketing, Phillips-Van Heusen, parent company of IZOD brand


"This is a great day for all of us in the IZOD IndyCar Series. I couldn't think of a better manufacturer than Dallara to make the Safety Cell, and, of course, make that product in Indiana. Add to that the fact that there will be development around that cell is fantastic. It's what fans and competitors alike have been wanting, and in 2012, we will have exactly that but at a much lower cost than what we are running now. In most aspects of life and business, it costs more to get what you want, but somehow the ICONIC committee has managed to achieve the right product at a substantially lower price. I can't wait for 2012." -- Alex Lloyd, Driver, Dale Coyne Racing, IZOD IndyCar Series


"I am extremely excited about the new IndyCar. I have spent the first two years learning about IndyCar, the dynamics of the car and working on my race craft. The new car will be an equalizer for everyone because we will all be starting from scratch. I think the competition level will be closer because with the less-expensive car, the teams with less funding will be able to compete at a higher level. The car will be faster, which will make it fun to drive, and with the stronger Safety Cell, it will be safer, too. That means the drivers will be more confident to push hard and will provide better races for the fans. It's a new era for the IZOD IndyCar Series, and I'm excited about it." -- Raphael Matos, Driver, De Ferran Dragon Racing, IZOD IndyCar Series


"I think it's great to have Dallara as a partner. I can speak directly about their safety, feedback and technology. I've been driving Dallaras since 1999, in Formula 3. So I'm glad this happened. I'm glad they are involved. I'm glad the concept is similar to what they issued on the press releases. From what I hear and what I know, it's going in the right direction. I'm really excited. Really exciting times for the IZOD IndyCar Series. I'm glad to be part of it on this historic time for the series. Not only do we have the new engine coming out, we have the new car now, we have the Centennial Era for the Speedway. So it's really exciting times." -- Vitor Meira, Driver, A.J. Foyt Racing, IZOD IndyCar Series


"Any time there is a new car, it's great. We have been using this car eight years, so it would be good to have everybody start with a new car again. Dallara has produced a safe and reliable product, and I am sure that contributed to them being announced as the builder of the Safety Cell." -- Hideki Mutoh, Driver, Newman/Haas Racing, IZOD IndyCar Series


"We've just seen examples, but I think it's the exact direction we need to go in, to entice more manufacturers to come in, both engine and chassis. The car's a lighter, faster car, and it's safer. I think as a driver, it's exactly what you want to hear: 'Faster, safer car.'" (From a driveability standpoint, what positives do you see with this direction?): "A lighter car is more nimble, makes it easier to pass people. With the turbo engine, you can increase that power to pass a lot, and make for better racing anyway, and more horsepower makes it tougher to drive. There's more mistakes, more opportunities to pass. You couldn't have asked for anything better. We have a one-make chassis now, and now we'll have a common tub, which is safe. And you're able to design your own bodywork." (Can you imagine going 240 mph at Indianapolis in a car like that?): "I love competition, I'm not sure that it's necessary to go 240 again. This year, gee, we were going 228, and it's getting up there. I think it's something you have to wait, see and watch it develop and see what horsepower works best where, because with a turbo you can adjust that. The thing I like is it will take its own direction with the design because it's open." -- Will Power, Driver, Team Penske, IZOD IndyCar Series


"I think it's very interesting with what they are doing with the innovative designs and the cost-effectiveness. I like the cost format as a driver who is involved with a lot of companies and speaking to them about sponsorship: This will help put it in the ballpark. I also hope that you will see bigger fields, and I hope these cars will go 230 to 240 mph in speed. I think that's what I'm looking forward to. Also, I'm really happy that Dallara will be involved again. They are a great company. I been driving the Dallara chassis since I was 18 years old, and they always do a great job. I'm glad they are back onboard." -- Tomas Scheckter, Driver, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, IZOD IndyCar Series


"Firestone Racing is glad that a decision has been made and that this process has sparked a lot of great ideas and innovative thinking. Congratulations to Dallara - they were chosen over some tough competition, so they are deservedly happy. We have worked well with many chassis manufacturers and look forward to continuing a great relationship with Dallara. We would also like to recognize and thank all of the other chassis manufacturers that participated in this process. BAT, DeltaWing, Lola and Swift also contributed a wide variety of different and unique ideas that ultimately strengthened the entire process. I remain very confident that we have the experience and ability to design, develop, manufacture, deliver and service Firestone Firehawk racing tires better than anyone else for the next-generation IZOD IndyCar Series cars." -- Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing


"I think it's a very good decision. Sticking with Dallara is always a good thing. They have the experience, and they do a great job in every series in which they work. They did a very good job with the IndyCar. Giving teams the options about the aero kit is definitely going to make it more fun. Just more tools to work around and more things for the engineers and drivers. Definitely a positive change, and I'm looking forward to being a part of the series when all of these changes come around." -- E.J. Viso, Driver, KV Racing Technology, IZOD IndyCar Series


"The announcement sounds good. I think that the ICONIC committee has incorporated a lot of ideas and concepts that the people wanted. I think we will get the best of both worlds. Dallara makes a very safe rolling chassis and we know that the safety will be there, so I'm glad they are behind it. I think this introduces a new idea, and it will be interesting to see how it all works. One of my two points of concern was hopefully the new car will make it more exciting for the fans, and I think it will." -- Justin Wilson, Driver, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, IZOD IndyCar Series

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