Next year’s universal aerokit in the IndyCar Series will have more forward weight distribution and less overall downforce, which is going to present a challenge for drivers and teams at some tracks.
As a result, the new aerokit will force drivers to modify their tire choices at certain tracks. It won’t affect every track, but it will affect some and it could be a challenge for drivers.
Firestone Racing chief engineer and manager of race tire development Cara Adams said there will be some changes on some tracks, though it won’t make a difference at every track.
“At Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the cars were very good on this year’s tires, but we’ll still make small changes in reaction to the weight distribution changes,” Adams said. “With more forward weight, you see more of a load on the right front and less on the right rear on the ovals.
“On short ovals, we’re working with IndyCar as they figure out what the downforce configuration is so that might change our tire choice. If we go to a much lower downforce level, we will have to look at bringing a different tire.”
Adams said the new aero package gives developers an opportunity to go over new types of tires as the new weight distribution will have a different affect on front tires.
Juan Pablo Montoya and Oriol Servia both gave feedback after testing the 2018 aerokit, and Adams said the “current tire specs seemed to react well on the new car.”
The change will be a major adjustment for drivers and teams, especially on certain tracks, but it appears as if the change could provide a positive impact for the IndyCar Series in the future.