After a long and epic battle between some of the world’s biggest racecar constructors, it was announced on Wednesday by CEO of the IZOD IndyCar Series Randy Bernard at the Indianapolis Museum of Art that Dallara had been awarded the new IndyCar contract as the series moves into a new era for 2012. The decision was made by the ICONIC committee who had the job of re-evaluating the current IZOD IndyCar programme and deciding on a new package that was more innovative, green, cost effective, and faster than existing format.
The introduction of this new chassis combined with the new engine reulations mean that the IndyCar Series will undergo its biggest change in recent history because as part of the new package teams will be allowed to introduce their own aero kits to the new spec-Dallara chassis.The new rules will mean that although IndyCar will remain a single-chassis formula, entrants and constructors will be able to develop their own aero packages - bringing back open competition between manufactureres in IndyCar for the first time since 2005.
Dallara's past record in IndyCar, its detailed presentations and willingness to build a new factory within one mile of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway were all cited as reasons that it was chosen over rival bids from Lola, Swift, Delta Wing and BAT.
IRL chief Randy Bernard said: "Today is an exciting day. Today is a result of listening to all of you - your ideas, your passion, your input. We've listened. The decisions we've made were not easy. This decision is one of the most important decisions of the decade for the IndyCar Series and its future.
"It is a huge honour to know that in 18 months this car will be a reality."
The Dallara-built chassis will be known as the IndyCar Safety Cell, around which any constructor is allowed to create their own front and rear wings, sidepods and engine covers. The car will then be known by the name of the manufacturer that supplied its aero kit, rather than as a Dallara.
The rolling chassis will be made available for $349,000, with a complete car costing $385,000 - which is a 45 per cent decrease from the current cost.
Teams will be allowed to race two different aero kits on each car per season, with the price for each kit capped at $70,000. Each single kit will include road course and oval versions, and all must be made available to all entrants, and must pass the series' safety tests.
"This strategy achieves the different looks that fans wanted while maintaining the close, intense racing that occurs at every event, whether on a superspeedway, short oval, road course or street circuit," Bernard added.
"A new car also levels the playing field, giving more teams a chance to succeed and generating more excitement for our fans.
"The significant reduction in the price of the new car is very important, as it helps to maintain economic stability for our teams as we transition to a new car. It also creates a more attractive avenue for new teams to enter the series."
Andrea Pontremoli, CEO and general manager of Dallara, announced that the company will build a facility in the heart of Speedway to develop, test and produce the next generation of IZOD IndyCar Series car.
“We feel very honored and proud to be part of the future,” Pontremoli said. “We are making this commitment to build the facility in Indianapolis. It’s important for us to not only have a factory where you build a car, but to have a center of technology that is open to our third party partners, universities, race engineers, the teams and drivers. We will put here our best knowledge with engineers and also in terms of tools.
"I think it definitely helps the smaller teams," IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said. "To think that if Mr. [Roger] Penske wants to build an aero kit, a small team can purchase that for $70,000 -- that's what's going to happen. I think there's going to be some major companies and individuals who want to create that aerodynamic. I think some of the smaller teams will be able to make some gains because of that."
Safety was a primary concern in the decision.
"A lot of drivers told us they wanted to see it go faster and they wanted to break track records, and that's great, but our primary responsibility has to be the drivers and the fans," Bernard said. "I think it's very important that we put that in perspective at this time."
To read and see more information about the new IZOD IndyCar concepts and the Dallara chassis please visit http://indycar.com/tech/content/38523-indycar-2012/.