Indy 500 focus will be on racing, not outright speed

IndyCar president of competition and operations, Jay Frye, says that Arie Luyendyk’s 1996 qualifying lap record at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is unlikely to be threatened by cars using the 2018 universal aerokit.

Indy 500 focus will be on racing, not outright speed
Start: James Hinchcliffe, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda leads
Jay Frye, president of IndyCar
IndyCar Series flag
The 100th Indy 500 IndyCar with the BorgWarner Trophy

Luyendyk set record one-lap [237.498mph] and four-lap average [236.986mph] speeds during qualifying for the 80th Indy 500, driving Jonathan Byrd/Treadway Racing’s Reynard-Ford. However, the Dutchman’s time were set on the second day of qualifying and so he lined up 20th.

With the Indy Racing League switching from ex-CART cars to new normally-aspirated cars for 1997, pole speed dropped by almost 20mph. Since then, the Indy 500 pole speed has breached the 230mph barrier just four times, the fastest being Helio Castroneves’ 231.725 average, set in 2003 for Penske-Toyota.

Frye revealed the preliminary concepts for IndyCar’s 2018 universal aerokit at the NAIAS show in Detroit yesterday, but suggested that outright pace at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was not his technical team’s No. 1 priority.

He said: “Speed is in our DNA, so for this 2018 car, universal car, we certainly don't want to go backwards – we've got to keep going forward. So the goal is to maintain where we're at but go forward in steps.

“I mean, it's a ways off for something like that [record] to happen again. As you go over the years, you've got to do it safely. Is it going to happen in the next few years? Probably not. Possible, but probably not.



“Speed is very important, yes, but at the end of the day, the racing product is what's most important. That one day – the 500 –the race is the most important thing. We want to have a great race.”

shares
comments
Rico Abreu: "My goals are to run the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500"

Previous article

Rico Abreu: "My goals are to run the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500"

Next article

Chevrolet happy with IndyCar’s technical direction

Chevrolet happy with IndyCar’s technical direction
Load comments
IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch Prime

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch

The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Sep 11, 2021
IndyCar young guns are great, but the elders aren’t done yet Prime

IndyCar young guns are great, but the elders aren’t done yet

The ace 20-somethings in IndyCar have risen to become title contenders, but the best of the series veterans are digging deep and responding – and will continue to do so over the next couple of years, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Aug 20, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie Prime

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in CART Indy car for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular teammate Mauro Martini's passion for racing.

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review Prime

The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review

At the halfway point in the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels? David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Prime

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all for us. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, Helio explained his tactics to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Prime

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after sweeping around the outside of Alex Palou on the penultimate lap in a thrilling climax. In one race, he validated Michael Shank's and Jim Meyer's faith in him, and Helio himself discovered there's life after Penske after all.

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021