SONOMA, Calif. -- Separate aerodynamic bodywork packages for road/street course and short ovals and superspeedways designed by Chevrolet and Honda and supplied to corresponding Verizon IndyCar Series teams have significantly added to the performance of the competition, which was among the goals of the ICONIC Committee in 2010 when it was reviewing, researching and recommending a new chassis and engine platform.
Introduced this season, aero kits have been a major contributor to six track records being reset in qualifications:
*St. Petersburg: 1:00.6931 by Will Power lowered from 1:00.928 (Sebastien Bourdais on 2-22-03)
* Long Beach: 1:06.6294 by Helio Castroneves lowered from 1:06.902 (Justin Wilson on 4-19-08)
*Indianapolis road course: 1:09.4886 by Will Power lowered from 1:09.6716 (Simon Pagenaud on 5-9-14)
*Belle Isle: 1:16.0941 by Will Power lowered from 1:16.1371 (Takuma Sato on 6-1-14)
*Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course: 1:04.5814 by Scott Dixon lowered from 1:05.347 (Gil de Ferran on 8-12-00 and Dario Franchitti on 8-13-99)
*Sonoma Raceway: 1:16.2597 by Will Power lowered from 1:17.2393 (Power on 8-23-14)
"The aero kits are a novel way to enhance what was effectively was a spec car, and the net result of the teams and drivers figuring it out is really whacking the records out of the park. That is what INDYCAR should be all about," INDYCAR president of competition and operations Derrick Walker said after Power shattered his own track record Aug. 29 in the Firestone Fast Six session of qualifying for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.
"With the aero kit rules for next year -- there are three areas of the car that manufacturers are allowed to improve on -- that will further improve the performance. And with the teams getting more and more familiar with the package, the net result will be continuation of records being broken.
"I think the other thing that will play into that is last year aero kit manufacturing came in late, so testing was quite a bit restricted until everybody got kits (March 1). This year, normal testing is available and we''ll see teams make big strides from understanding the kits, plus additional parts will come."