The new 2012 car program had a timetable laid out at Long Beach by Tony Cotman and things seemed to be on target, and now we’re hearing that the owners don’t want new aero kits until 2013. Cotman had said he was hoping they could be introduced at Indy next year, using that large stage to fully expose the different-looking cars. We love the idea – we’ve been celebrating the past at Indy for the last three years during the centennial era – why not make 2012 the year of the future and keep pushing that momentum forward? We’re puzzled – the ICONIC committee came up with a creative and cost-effective way to deliver what the fans wanted – a mix of looks and manufacturers. Didn’t the owners want some differences, as well? We’re racking our brains around a few things:
- Cost – well, at $70K a pop, an aero kit is a considerably smaller expense compared to engines, tires and the safety tub. Yes, the team will be laying out a lot of $ for the new car next year, but the kit isn’t another $1 meeeeelyun more.
- Testing – Cotman mention that testing restrictions are being lifted early next year to give teams time with the new cars. Mandate that 2012 aero kits need to be ready by February so teams can test them prior to unveiling at Indy. This should help mitigate some concerns about having time with the new packages. And we think some public testing sessions at IMS throughout the spring would be exciting.
- Competitive edge – Some teams may lose this for a bit. All teams will be pushing hard to learn the new pieces all together at the same time, and some aero kits may prove more efficient that others, so the playing field won’t be even. (As if it is now…) Well, well…this makes us think. Are we so protective of our edge that we don’t want to weather some short term risk in order to introduce something that will involve even more manufacturers and broaden our reach? This risk will be faced in 2013, 2014 or whenever the kits roll out, so might was well bite the bullet and get it over with now.
- There’s probably more, but we’re not clear-headed late at night and our coach just turned into a pumpkin…
A tempest in a teacup? No, we think it’s more important than that. Judging by the Tweetosphere, fans and drivers are NOT HAPPY with this latest bit of bull. We’re hoping Randy Bernard will put his foot down and mandate 2012 as the Year of Multiple AeroKits and invite the owners to start saving up for lots of testing.
With all the chatter that the owners have been dogging Randy lately and that Tony George really did want his head, we found a song playing in our heads tonight. It features clowns to the left, jokers to the right. Fortunately, Randy seems to have a lot of people backing him up here in the middle.