It took INDYCAR nine years to put the Dallara IR03/07 to bed. Who knows how long it'll be before its Firestone Indy Lights chassis from Dallara -- which made its debut in 2002 -- takes its final lap.
A new car for INDYCAR's top developmental series had been slated for 2014, but yesterday, the sanctioning body announced that the initiative would be delayed until after that season.
"We want our teams, drivers and manufacturers to be competitive and successful, and if that means taking a step back to create a stronger series to support the economics of this long-term capital investment, as well as a formula that we believe will allow our drivers to transition between Pro Mazda and the IZOD IndyCar Series, then we're willing to make sure the introduction is timed properly," said Lights director Tony George, Jr. in a statement.
With the introduction of the turbocharged and more nuanced Dallara DW12 in the IZOD IndyCar Series, the normally aspirated Lights chassis needs a serious overhaul to remain a proper training tool for INDYCAR's stars of tomorrow. Instead, they'll have to continue working on their racecraft in a machine that's 11 years old.
Never mind all the important technical differences between the DW12 and the 2002 Lights machine; the latter is simply too old to keep getting work.
In 2002, a gallon of gas was roughly about $1.40. George W. Bush was in the middle of his first term as President. Radio stations had begun forcing Nickelback down our throats.
Times have changed, and so have the needs of INDYCAR's developmental drivers. They need to hone their skills in a car closer to the DW12 rather than one that's closer to an obsolete machine.
As for the IZOD IndyCar Series, they have their own equipment issues to figure out. The aerokit saga that seemed ready to be resolved may have hit yet another snag. In yesterday's Indianapolis Star, reporter Curt Cavin wrote that not all the manufacturers may be ready to see the kits debut in 2014. In Cavin's words:
"No one was willing to go on the record Thursday, but it seems clear the manufacturers are on completely different sides of the discussion. One might be ready for them next season, the other clearly is not. Read: Log jam."
Truth be told, I'm burned out on this particular matter. If it happens, great. Outside of multiple chassis, the fans have wanted cars with different styles of bodywork. But if it doesn't, at least the base DW12 has proven its worth in terms of producing a great on-track product on its own.
The Cavin link above also has some news on Dale Coyne Racing's second drive that is up for grabs. Apparently, a split program may be in the cards for that particular entry and that Ana Beatriz is in the running to drive all the oval races there.
Beatriz competed at Sao Paulo and Indianapolis last season in a collaboration between Andretti Autosport and Conquest Racing. Before that, she ran 16 of 17 races in the 2011 season with Dreyer and Reinbold Racing.
As for Ryan Briscoe, it appears as if he's looking more at sports car opportunities and perhaps part-time work in IndyCar later this season. While the situation has already been talked about, it doesn't make it any less annoying to watch.
And if you feel the same way, perhaps this video will cheer you up:
Yep, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has officially joined in on the Harlem Shake phenomenon. And yep, that's Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing pilot Josef Newgarden dancing like a nutcase, surrounded by other people dancing around like nutcases. Someone should wake that IMS 'yellow shirt' official up, because he's missing a party.