IndyCar – Detla Wing: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

The official unveiling took place this afternoon at the Chicago Auto Show and now we officially have the Delta Wing concept car to ogle, ponder, ruminate upon and maybe mock a bit.

The Bad and the Ugly
Our universal opinion here amongst the Paddock staff is that this thing looks a bit too far fetched, to the point of being downright unattractive.  Delta Wing’s press release calls this an “open wheel” car, to which they may be referring to the tire contact patch sized gap in the top of the chassis where you can see the tires from above.  Yes Delta Wing, your butt looks fat.

Now that we finally see what the car would look like, we understand fully why Delta Wing has been leaking information about the efficiency of this design and about how it should respond in traffic.  They were trying to soften the blow of such a radical change of what our preconceived notions tell us an IndyCar should look like.

The Good
Delta Wing has gone to great pains to describe their design as coming from a clean sheet of paper. If Indy was still a test bed for automotive design, this is what the cars would probably look like by now. In an era where we could design a car that could do 300+ MPH to go around IMS, a different kind of cap has to be instituted on the cars so as to keep participants and spectators from being killed by out of control cars attempting speeds that they safely cannot attain. In this era of green consciousness and intelligent, efficient design, this is the first race car that has been purpose designed with those purposes truly at the forefront.

Lets talk about the specs as released by Delta Wing:

  • Weight with driver: 1,030 lbs
  • Horsepower: 300 BHP
  • Wheel base: 125 inches
  • Front track: 24 inches
  • Rear track: 70 inches
  • Aerodynamic drag: Cd 0.24
  • Engine and transmission are “non-stressed members” of the chassis structural design which allows teams to install a wide variety of lightweight powertrains
  • The prototype will feature a 4 cylinder turbo charged engine that will produce approximately 300 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and weigh only 160lbs fully dressed
  • Engine capacity, RPM and configuration freedoms are anticipated given only that the rate of fuel delivery to the engine will be controlled by a specially developed fuel flow rate control unit
  • Vehicle weight distribution is necessarily more rearward than traditionally seen with 72.5% of the mass on the larger rear tires
  • 80% of the aerodynamic downforce acts on the rear of the car
  • Inline traction under acceleration through the rear tires is greatly enhanced by rearward weight and aerodynamic distributions
  • Unique amongst today’s racing cars 60% of braking force is generated behind the center of gravity giving a dynamically stable response
  • Locking propensity of the inside front wheel on corner entry is greatly reduced
  • Transmission features 6 speed oval and 5 speed plus reverse road track configurations with sequential paddle shift actuation
  • Differential features full torque vectoring active technology with driver control of gain for balance adjustment. “Active stagger” removes the expensive necessity for staggered rear tire diameters for ovals
  • Advanced computer modeling of structures, impact energy management, aerodynamics, vehicle dynamics and tires has been used to develop the virtual DeltaWing car
  • The car’s performance has been simulated on each configuration of race track encountered during the IZOD IndyCar Series Championship
  • Modern advanced materials and CNC construction techniques applied to achieve gains in light weight structures and occupant safety
  • Driver position, restraint layout and energy absorbency facility designed with the latest data on survival criteria

Did you catch that weight? 1,030 pounds WITH driver. This car weighs 900 pounds, with the engine taking up 160 pounds.

Short of the lack of aesthetic appeal, it is pretty easy to get excited about the above specifications. This is where all forms of racing need to be moving right now. We have long been at the point where all forms of racing are strictly for entertainment, since the road car industry learns very little of value to their show floor product from competition anymore. Racing is strictly an advertising venue.

Here are Ben Bowlby’s thoughts on his design:

“We are confident that this car will outperform the current generation IndyCar and do it in a more environmentally friendly waye. Auto racing has always been a powerful marketing tool for propelling new technology into the hearts and minds of consumers. This new car was specifically designed to be more closely aligned with the new reality of automobiles that are arriving on the road today. Consumers are choosing cars that provide impressive performance capabilities but with greater fuel efficiency. This prototype IndyCar features those same characteristics, making it much more relevant to the public and the auto industry. It is our goal to make participation in the series highly attractive to the automobile manufacturers as well as the fuel, technology, information and entertainment corporate sectors.”

In F1, where teams design their own cars, speed is its own form of beauty. If a car looks awful (looking at you 2010 McLaren) you reserve judgment until you see it perform on track. Performance has its own way of offsetting looks. But in this current spec environment in the IRL, the Delta Wing would most likely have no competitors unless there is a major change in the direction that the current management is leading the series.

The Conclusion
Technically speaking, the Delta Wing concept is the “right” way to go for all of racing. Short of the aesthetics of the car, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. The design concept is inline with what the IRL laid out as their design goals. Think of the leg up that this concept would give IndyCar racing over all other forms of racing. Look at how silly this car makes F1 look. If you can achieve these speeds, efficiencies and costs with a 900 pound chassis, a 7000 rpm 4-cylinder engine, and a total rethink on body design, then what business do F1 teams have in spending hundreds of millions of dollars on their cars?

Is it time to totally rethink what an IndyCar should look like?  Should we depart from our preconceived notion of what an open wheel racer looks like?  Should we continue the tradition of innovation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway?

I think Delta Wing has made a pretty convincing case for why they are the best route.  I just wish the car looked a little sexier.

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35 Thoughts to “IndyCar – Detla Wing: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

  1. “Look at how silly this car makes F1 look.”

    I don’t think so. These things wouldn’t survive anywhere F1 runs. 300 HP might be fine on a banked oval where you can take your time to get to speed and stay there for an hour and a half. But would you really pay to see these things drive around say, Long Beach? Not me.

  2. Exactly, Chris. That’s one of my major objections to this design. The power to weight ratio is pathetic. Even the current Dallara/Honda combination has a better P:W performance than the Delta Wing design. Regardless of what aero tricks it might have, coming out of a slow-speed hairpin there is no aero grip. Its all mechanical, and top acceleration in such conditions is determined solely by the P:W.

  3. I think I will settle on the fact that Ben Bowlby knows a whole lot more about automotive design than we do. You don’t get the backing of Roger Penske and Chip Ganassi with an incapable car.

  4. There’s absolutely no doubting of Mr. Bowlby. He has a fantastic track record of producing outstanding race cars, but you can’t get around Newton’s 2nd Law. In the release, it was stated that the chassis can support a wide range of engine configurations. …nice thing about using a non-stressed engine! If a more robust engine were used with this design, I might be more inclined to view it more positively.

  5. Ben Bowlby

    “What we’ve found is that we have better acceleration because of the dragster like layout and low drag and weight. We’ve also got better stability under braking because we can keep more of the braking on the rear wheels behind the center of gravity. The drive-ability envelope has been expanded. Our simulations show it’s going to be a lot of fun to drive. We have targeted maintaining aerodynamic performance at high yaw angles so that drivers can recover from over-cooking it.”

  6. Jim

    It’s 11 feet long Whee base wise and the front end is 2 feet wide if I am reading this right so here is my question what’s it’s turn radius on a street course

  7. Jim,

    according to their press releases, they have ran simulations on this car on all courses that the IRL currently runs on. I doubt that Delta Wing is suddenly going to have an aha gotcha moment when they realize they can’t make it through the hairpin at Brazil.

  8. but I doubt it could make it through Monaco….

  9. Also, the wheelbase is 125 inches. The car itself is much longer than the wheelbase. It probably measures from head to foot around 16ft, similar to the current chassis.

  10. Don

    What a joke. It’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen. The Delta Wing makes Crap Wagon’s look sexy.

    I’ll take any of the Swift concepts. They all look like a proper evolution of North American Open Wheel.

  11. Rick

    Words cannot express how truly hideous this monstrosity is. The airplane tail is particularly repulsive.

    It makes we want to puke.

  12. Alan Turner

    Mike says: “according to their press releases, they have ran simulations on this car on all courses that the IRL currently runs on. I doubt that Delta Wing is suddenly going to have an aha gotcha moment when they realize they can’t make it through the hairpin at Brazil.”

    and then says: “but I doubt it could make it through Monaco….”

    So which is it Mike? The hairpin at Long Beach is a wide open curving arc? There is nothing at Monaco that is much tighter than the hairpin at Long Beach.

  13. Alan Turner

    Doug Patterson would like to use Newton’s 2nd law as a reason for why the Delta wing can not accelerate as quickly as the current car. On the surface he would appear to have a valid point. But he’s necessarily wrong in his conclusion because he fails to factor in a great deal of other design features of both cars. Depending upon efficiency aero can begin to factor into cornering, braking and acceleration speeds as low as 40mph. Also, frontal area has a significant role in this as well (think 25mph bicycle drafting lines) Given that even the tightest corners have speeds roughly in that range the more aero efficient Delta wing can begin to have an effect on acceleration rates by increasing traction through aero downforce. Also, the weight distro for the delta wing is a very serious advantage in acceleration. Unless none of the designs have enough power to loose traction under acceleration Newton’s 2nd law is not the bottom line in this discussion as Mr. Patterson would have us believe. And in a cars this light (and even in those up over 1500lbs. and with out electronic aids) 300 hp and sufficient torque is more than enough hp to cause traction issues

    Discounting the design advantages of the Delta only because of Newton’s 2nd law shows a gross lack of knowledge of modern automotive design.

  14. Alan Turner

    Does it look awkward? Yes!! Does it look unusual? Very much. Does it challenge our view of what an Indy car is supposed to look like? YES!!! But so did cars such as: The Marmon Wasp, The Belond Special, The Cooper, The Turbine, Micky Thompson’s Side car, Gurney’s winged Eagles and even The Chaparral (the ground effects car not the original) .

    This car is probably very much what cars would look like if controls and rules were never put into place. The natural evolution of design most likely would have taken us to a very similar point as the Delta Wing. Don’t believe me? Why does it resemble a modern fighter (pre-stealth tech) so much?

    I have to admit that the style doesn’t sit easy with me. But, I’m very much of the “form follows function” mindset. If it makes me faster I usually find it sexy regardless of how it looks. But, even still this will take some getting used to.

    The Dallara and Swift designs are nice. But, really they don’t answer substantially solve any problems that Indy car racing is currently faced with. In fact, the “evolutionary designs” of Dallara and Swift remind me of the definition of insanity “doing the same thing over and over again all the while expecting different results” Just because they have decided to bang the side of their head against the wall instead of continuing to cave in their forehead does not mean that they can expect different results.

    Besides, Dallara and Swift don’t even have any real designs yet. Pretty pictures can be drawn by my 5th grader. When they get to at least the simulation and mock up phase of their designs then we can begin to have a discussion about the viability of those “designs” Until then, Delta Wing is the only player in the game.

    The design specs and performance given all leads me to a yes vote. As we know, history often repeats itself and the last time the people at 16th and Georgetown dug themselves in and defended the status quo at all costs we ended up with CART.

  15. All of the cars mentioned above are great examples of the innovation at the speedway. The kicker to that was the fact that you could have multiple designs all racing to see who the best was. I have no problem with the Delta Wing competing, I just don’t want this particular design chosen and then be the only thing that I have to see on raceday. If all the designs can participate, then fine. However, I have a feeling that 95% of the fans won’t watch this thing and will stop watching the series completely no matter how good the racing is. Great points on all of the posts Alan. Appreciate you taking the time to comment on our page! Hope we continue to see your posts as this whole thing tries to come together.

  16. Good comments Alan. As to Monaco and Long Beach…. Monaco’s Grand Hotel Hairpin is the tightest corner on all of F1’s tracks. It is so tight that many teams have to bring a totally redesigned steering rack and front suspension just to negotiate this one corner.

    It’s no knock against the Delta Wing concept, it is just a statement of fact. IndyCar currently does not run on any track that has a corner that even compares to Grand Hotel.

  17. Alan Turner


    Good comments also. It’s fun to read posts like yours. It’s clear that you actually took the time to read everything and are commenting on all of the information. Not just your gut reaction to the styling. It’s also clear that you are educated about racing. Doug has a very good point about Newton’s 2nd law and I have to admit that I too was concerned about that issue prior to the release of the specs and the design information. Only I was focused on the terminal velocity issue. Would 300hp be enough to get to 225mph? In a conventional design I don’t believe that it would. Too much drag.

    Do you have any GPS data or anything other than a special rack for Grand Hotel to back that one up?:-) Grand Hotel is very tight but to put it into another class as the hair pin at LB I think is stretching things. “that even compares to Grand Hotel”?!?!? Come on. Really? F1 doesn’t have any corners that compare to the corners at Indy (and certainly not now that they don’t run there) or Texas or Chicago. What’s the point? Besides, what’s the relevancy?

    Let’s say you are correct and the Delta would have an issue with either LB or Grand Hotel. So what? I’ve never been much of a fan of uber tight corners. Where’s the real challenge? As a driver and a spectator I find virtually all hairpin corners exceedingly boring. They almost never provide any real opportunity for over taking on entry and with out a substantial mistake on exit they do not usually set up overtaking on the following straight that a slow but not walking speed corner would not also provide. I would prefer my “hair pins” to be more in line with the one at Montreal. Slow, but not stupid slow. I can offer my opinion on that corner because I have driven it at racing speeds.

  18. As I think about the turning radius issue, the more I’m inclined to think that its a non-issue. The only restriction to turning radius that I can see is the freedom of movement of the front wheels. In the concept model, it appears to be extremely restrictive, which is a concern, but that may simply be a matter of perspective. I would love to have been at the unveiling, but I doubt they would have let me get as close as I’d have wanted. If there’s enough range of motion for the front wheels, turning radius won’t be an issue. Remember those Swisher mowers? Turned on a dime! …ok, bad example, but you get what I’m saying. DWR has also promised what they call “Active Stagger” creating a vectored thrust by controlling the torque at the two rear wheels. If they could couple that trust vectoring to the steering wheel position, the car could be quite nimble.

  19. Nope, no GPS data or the like. All I got is Grand Hotel is typically taken in 1st gear at 30mph with full lock on the steering wheel. Cars simply cannot go 2 wide into the corner. There is simply not enough real estate to make the turn.

    Again, not making a value judgement against any of IndyCar’s current tracks. IndyCar just simply does not have an uber tight hairpin like Grand Hotel. I can’t find any data on what speed they take Long Beach’s hairpin, but watching race footage, it appears to be much faster than 30 mph.

    As for Montreal, that is truly a classic corner. I envy your driving experience, especially there.

  20. Don

    Delta THING is an abomination. What were they thinking? I still can’t figure out whether it’s an expensive joke or they’re really serious.

    Here’s how to get back to exciting racing. Take any one of the Swift concepts (they all look great) install a twin turbo V6 configured for 875 HP on road courses and 725 HP on ovals. Make the road racing exciting again (like the CART days), and make the drivers LIFT on ovals (like the CART days). Break some track records and get back to real racing again.

    To hell with uncircumcised penis looks and an anemic 350 HP (not matter what the THINGS power to weight ratio is), make IndyCar’s beasts that are scary fast! Take our breath away, not bore us. Make IndyCar the fastest racing on earth.
    o weight ratio is) makes IndyCar’s beasts that are scary fast! Take our breath away, not bore us.

  21. Alan Turner


    Let me make one thing perfectly clear. I find the delta difficult to look at. I’m not “turned on” by it’s styling. My thought when only thinking of the visual is that it looks clumsy and even goofy. But…..

    I hate to tell you this but a return of the 90’s CART cars is not going to happen. Even if every one including the fans, drivers, teams and sponsors all want it. The insurance companies are going to have the last say. The likely hood of one of them ending up in the stands is too great. Period. End of story. If that’s a deal breaker for you then you are already lost as a fan. I sincerely hope that is not the case.

    As for lifting on ovals, what ovals are you talking about? There hasn’t been any serious lifting on ovals in nearly 30yrs. The really big tracks have been wide open since 1978. For crying out loud Nazareth was virtually flat out. Milwaukee at the end of the 90’s was 180mph lap speed!!!!! Do you have any idea how incredibly insane that is? That’s not big balls fast, that’s stupid fast.

    It has been thought by different people down through the ages that certain speed thresholds represented the physical limits of either man or machine. Until recently those people were repeatedly proven wrong. But now we have reached a point that the limitations of the human body are the deciding factor.

    Despite softwalls the g-forces experienced in many crashes on ovals had reached the point where the drivers head wasn’t moving (thank you HANS) but the brain was still crashing into the inside of the skull. We have medical and crash data that says that at some point things like Aortas will rupture. How do you stop that from happening in a 143g impact? Does that number seem outrages? That was the black box recording from when C. Fittipaldi backed into the wall at Milwaukee. When race cars are pulverizing concrete walls I think it’s safe to say we have reached a threshold that should not be breached.

    Are we forgetting about what was happening at Texas when CART tried to race there? Fighter planes have reached beyond the physical limits of the human body and at Texas Indy (style) cars did also.

    When drivers are no longer driving 4 corners at Indy but instead are going so fast that they set up and mentally process one corner on each end of the track because the time between unwinding the wheel coming out of turn one (i.e. driving through the south chute) before feeding in-put back into the wheel to go through turn two becomes almost negligible, I would say that’s a little too fast. Lyuendyk talked about this problem in ’96.

    I can remember when I was pretty young people just accepted the idea that drivers where going to die. And they would do so regularly. 1973 seems to me to be a breaking point with the notion that there was little or nothing that could be done to stop the blood letting. I’ve grown quit used to the idea that while I like my racing fast and furious and there will always be injuries and occasionally deaths it doesn’t have to be the norm.

    Besides, 725hp in either the Swift of Dallara designs will not give you what you are looking for. Even of you take all of the aero downforce out of the equation, shock and suspension technology has reached the point that a wingless(including undertray) 1500lb car with 725hp would probably be pretty close to flat out at most ovals. Unless you want ultra skinny tires but I think that is questionable too. The genie is out of the bottle and there is no putting him back in. It’s time for a new genie and his bottle is going to look different. Get used to the idea.

  22. Alan Turner


    Kind of bummed that you didn’t have the data on the hairpins. Would be interesting. I wonder if it’s out on the net some place. I’m sure that every team in both the Indy Car and F1 paddocks have the info.

    I might be wrong but Grand Hotel and LB have to be the tightest in either series. Just sitting here thinking. In addition to the fact that both have a very small radii they both have very tight entry and exit room. I’m guessing that neither one of them is wider than 25ft on entry. Walls on both sides. LB has very little run off and Grand Hotel has none. The old Vancouver lay out had a similar hairpin.

    I know that hairpins present a technical challenge for both driving and set up and I don’t mind tight corners like say turn 5 and Canada corner at RA. Both of those are good fun!! But, for real pucker factor, grow hair on your chest carry your attachments around in a wheel barrow I like Eu Rouge (if only I could get the chance to drive that one!!) and the “Kink” at RA. That to me is what racing is all about. If you mess up a hairpin you loose time. If you don’t hit Eu Rouge or the Kink right? You may just have written off your race and probably even your race car. Those are the type of corners I lay awake at night thinking about!!! Those are what goes through your mind when some asks you what it’s like and you say “it’s better than sx”:-)

  23. Alan Turner


    So far the only data I can find is from the FIA for Grand Hotel at certainly the definitive source with out having access to one of the teams data.
    and trackpedia for Long Beach.

    Going by the numbers Long Beach is the winner. The FIA has Grand Hotel at 1st gear and 30mph. Trackpedia says long beach 1st gear and 27mph min. speed.

    Now, having said that, an F1 car is smaller and more nimbler than an Indy Car so it’s possible that LB is more wide open and a larger radius than Grand Hotel but the heavier, larger Indy Car can not negotiate it as quickly as an F1 does Grand Hotel.

    With out track dimensions it’s impossible to declare one or the other the absolute tightest. But, I think that this is enough to say that they are both in the same class and are probably the tightest of all. Off hand I can not think of any other corner in any either series as tight as these two. IF there is another hairpin out there as tight because both LB and Grand Hotel are on the extremely tight confines of street circuits. Certainly no other corner can “feel” as tight as these two.

    Don’t I have anything better to do with my time?:-) It’s a sickness isn’t it? Oh, how I wish there was something besides NASCAR on tv right now…..

  24. Alan Turner

    Does anybody have any physical dimensions on the Delta? How wide (narrow?) is the front track width? How narrow is the front track width on a Watson Roadster? If I remember correctly the hp numbers for an early 60’s non turbo offy put it in the 450hp ball park. Narrow front, Narrow tires(and in the airstream) . The term V on the roadsters was well north of 200mph. Couple that with the fact that the corner speed was well south of 125mph….. And they were heavy and aero “dirty”.

    The roadsters actually steered pretty well. At least once you muscled them into the corner. And they had a relatively high (compared to today’s cars) CG. I think the Delta will actually handle very well on ovals..

    Now what about road and street courses? Well, maybe it won’t “steer” through the low speed corners that well. That might actually be a VERY good thing. Yea, bare with me here for a moment. So you can’t get it to go through the corner that well. It doesn’t have either the turning radius or it wants to push too much. How do you get around that? You drive it in hard and pitch in sideways and power through the corner. Sounds pretty fun to me. Probably will even look really cool too.

    Have you paid really close attention to how the fast drivers (watch Alonso, Hamilton, Massa and Schumi) drive the slow to medium speed corners in F1? They pitch it in and power it through and off. High end formula cars are driven very much like karts. Or vice versa. Either way it’s why Kimi made such a quick jump through the lower formulas. Spend just enough time to learn set up and shifting. If you spend too much time in the lower formulas you unlearn this technique. One of the first things you have to adjust to when going from a kart to something like say a FF or such is learning to slow your reaction down. Then you have to relearn speeding up your reactions when you jump up to something like an Atlantic or F2 etc…

  25. This is what I got off of DeltaWing’s website,

    * Weight with driver: 1,030 lbs.
    * Horsepower: 300 BHP
    * Wheel base: 125 inches
    * Front track: 24 inches
    * Rear track: 70 inches
    * Aerodynamic drag: Cd 0.24

  26. Also with most of the mass decidedly rear-ward, the front end of the car should be easy enough to swivel around. Listening to Bowlby on Trackside last night, the DW car has a range of steering slightly better than the current Dallara. I don’t see any reason why the DW car couldn’t handle quite nicely. My biggest concern about the design exercise remains the minimal power (yes, I understand that balance of the car is a contributing factor) and the marketability of the car. No one I’ve shown this car to, racing fan or not, has had a positive reaction to it. They have all thought it looks like a child’s toy from the 50s or 60s.

    I’d like to see some design variations on Mr. Bowlby’s concepts, but I don’t think this particular car makes the grade as a suitable single-chassis option.

  27. Alan Turner


    Good info and I think you are correct about marketability. What about the power is your concern? Top speed? I recently crunched some numbers based on my experience with Atlantics and I would say especially since the frontal area is so much smaller with the DW 300hp is probably more than enough to get it 225mph. Just using a ratio of terminal velocity vs. power to weight ratio will show that. Even if the frontal area and drag are the same it should be enough. Factor in the much reduced frontal area and MUCH cleaner design aspects (no wings and enclosed wheels) and I think it’s a sure bet. The question remains about acceleration both from a low speed and at medium to high speeds. In other words; what’s it’s throttle response? I guess I am trusting Mr. Bowlby at this point. So far I think that trust has been well placed.

    Really I think that this car is the best thing to hit the Indy car world since the rear engine cars. Still I wonder about marketability.

    As for variations, reread Bowlby’s comments. He has stated that they do not want to be a single supplier and that they envision many suppliers for many different parts of the car. Much the same when asked about the I4 engine he stated that the engine could take any form the engine supplier wanted because the limiting factor would be the fuel regulator. Left me with the distinct impression that there is room for tinkering around and the more tinkerers the better.

    I’m betting that this is going to be a whole lot like traditional big block, muscle car drag racers vs. the 4cyl import drags crowd. I think the people that steadfastly believe that there is “no replacement for displacement” and big horsepower will migrate to the lumbering cows of NASCAR but I think just as many will be attracted to the sophistication of the DW.

    Think of it like this. If it’s so radical that people watch just from curiosity or with the expectation that it will fail, and if it lives up to it’s performance expectations maybe enough will stick around and enjoy the show. As it stands the designs from Dallara and Swift will generate little more than yawns from people that aren’t you and me. In other words the casual fan will not see what is so different about the “evolutionary designs’ to even pay any attention. And it’s like I stated before, we aren’t going to get 1200lbs and 800hp again so we have to find something different.

  28. I don’t have any concerns about its top speed. My concerns still center on its low-speed acceleration on tight street courses. On an oval, I think it will be fine enough. Yes, I understand that Mr. Bowlby a long history of designing successful race cars, and that he wouldn’t suddenly forget how to make the thing accelerate. It keeps nagging at me, though, and as a scientist, taking things on faith isn’t really in my nature. I’ll have to see the thing perform in a genuine test before I think I’ll be fully convinced that 300hp is sufficient.

    As for there being “no replacement for displacement”, any motorcycle enthusiast would quickly remind us, “Sure there is, its called RPMs!” However, the DW group is talking about an engine that produces 300hp at 7k. I suppose that certainly leaves plenty of room for the expansion if 300hp proves to be insufficient.

    Something else that has been nagging at me ever since this project was announced was the outsourcing of the chassis construction. If you outsource the construction of the car to multiple manufacturers, then you run into the same price-point restrictions that prohibit the league right now from simply opening up competition to any and all comers. A company like Swift, Dallara, or Lola wouldn’t have the economy of scale they would if they had an exclusive contract. Perhaps I’m misinterpreting the DW statement regarding this, but I can’t see the outsourcing working unless a customer price-point were mandated by DW. Maybe that’s what they have in mind.

  29. Alan,

    I will certainly eat crow on that one. I didn’t think LB was nearly as tight as Grand Hotel. Definitely agree with you on Eau Rouge. In my humble opinion, there is no better track on the F1 circuit than Spa. Still annoyed about the Tilke neuteration of the buss stop.

    According to Ben Bowlby on trackside last night, the Delta Wing is the same width as the current Dallara in the rear end. The wheelbase is 2 or 3 inches longer. And the overall length is just a few inches shorter.

    As for overpowered cars…. I love low power to weight ratios and 800+ HP firbreathing monsters. I just like them to be front engined, tube framed and tempered by a subpar surface. Give me 410 non-wing sprinters on dirt! I love my ovals and twisties, but I spend far more in-person track time watching USAC & MSCS on the short ovals than I do any other events.

  30. Bob

    I am very concerned about the sport that I love and have supported since early CART days. Because of the amount of money invested by the car owners in Delta THING, they are not going to accept any design concept proposed other than their own. It looks like another Open Wheel war is around the corner. If that’s the case I’m done with IndyCar, because I refuse to watch that ugly THING on a track.

  31. Bob

    I urge IndyCar fans that hate Delta Wing to FLOOD the corporate IndyCar office with emails, phone calls and personal letters sent to Brian Barnhart and Randy Bernard at the below address.

    Indy Racing League
    4565 W. 16th Street
    Indianapolis, IN 46222

    Because the amount of money invested by the Indy Car team owners in Delta THING, they are not going to accept any design concept proposed other than their own. They MUST understand that we refuse to watch something this hideous, and another Open Wheel war will lead to the end of the sport once and for all.

  32. Alan Turner

    I just don’t understand people like Bob. Do you want to watch racing or a car show? The more butts in the stands the better but frankly if looks are that important go back to your local DQ and drool over all of the shiny chrome and candy apple paint. I just don’t understand why looks are so stinking important. I want to watch good racing and driving.

    Take Mike’s tastes in racing for instance. Frankly, I find Midgets and Sprint cars some of the goofiest looking things ever to take to the track. And I LOVE those cars. My grandfather was a USAC sprint car official in the 50’s and 60’s. But what makes me love them is not the way they look it’s what they do. A non-winged sprinter high wide and handsome at Eldora is the most beautiful thing in the world. But sitting still that same car looks silly.

    I guess I think about my race cars like weapons systems. Like an A10 warthog. As a former infantry man I couldn’t give a flying flip through a rolling doughnut side ways what that thing looks like because it does what it was designed to do exceedingly well.

    Another example is kart racing. They look like kid’s toys to the uneducated eye. “Oh, cute. Is that go-kart your little boys?” Well, yea but that one over there is mine.:-) I’ve seen a number of big car drivers make fools of themselves in a TaG or shifter kart. I guess to people who think like Bob does though, they are just toys.

    What ever. Go on your campaign Bob. Write your letters and make your phone calls. It’s clear Barnhart doesn’t listen or read them any way.

  33. ATB73

    The Power to weight seems ridiculous at a meager 300hp. Bowlby said that with 600 hp the car would do 275mph at Indy. 55% of the drag occurs from the exposed spinning wheels. The Dallara is an aerodynamic brick. It simply burns fuel to overcome aero inefficiency. Aero-inefficiency is how they have slowed the current Dallara down with wickers, gussets, widgets, dampers, soffits, gussets, turrets, shingles, and shutters.

    For Bob, Barnhart is busy building a 1.3 million dollar house. Nobody but Dallara is designing the new car. BB is being gracious by accepting the DW concept submission. They want to decide by May. DW won’t see a track before August. There is no way an unproven untested concept will be adopted in May.

    DW may be the answer when the new Dallara has run its course. Give it a few years of R&D and a proper set of front wheels.

  34. Bob

    What’s more frightening than the hideous and repulsive looks of Delta THING, is what will happen after IndyCar picks a proper concept for the new formula (Swift hopefully), and the owners continue to push this monstrosity because of the money invested.

    I urge all IndyCar fans that hate Delta Wing to FLOOD the corporate IndyCar office with emails, phone calls and personal letters to let them know how you feel.

    Brian Barnhart, COO
    Randy Bernard, CEO
    Indy Racing League
    4565 W. 16th Street
    Indianapolis, IN 46222

    I urge all IndyCar fans that hate Delta Wing to flood HVM Racing’s blog What Should the Next-Generation Open-Wheel Race Car Look Like? at , and flood Delta Wing Racing’s contact page at

    Let them know how much the fans HATE this THING, and that we will not let IndyCar be turned into a laughing stock racing league. If the owners continue to push forward this concept, the war to end all Open Wheel wars will begin.

  35. barry

    have to say the delta wing is kinda good looking and kinda ugly but it’s just an early prototype. my real concern about the design is the narrowness of the front track. testing the design on a computer can get you into the park (like a ticket to a race) but it won’t get you on the track. as all of us know tracks ain’t smooth they have big bumps, little bumps, bumps that cause ocsolations front to back ,side to side and everything in between. traction differs as road compounds change from new pavement to old, from asphault to concrete. these changes need precise steering correction inputs from the drivers during intense compettion. roll control, camber adjustments, shock contol, weight transfer,especilly during heavey braking or steering manuevers and/or both will be greatly diminshed especially on road circuits but also on the bumpier ovals. I can almost promise that if this car were to race in it’s present configuration we would send indy cars back to the 60’s and 70’s when racing at indy or the series they controled brought DEATH to too many drivers.the fix is simple WIDEN THE DAMN FRONT TRACK. then maybe it might work

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