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May 25, 2010

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Gurney Eagle

Whether Bowlby's fault or that of the IRL specs, this is still not an open-wheel car.

Roy Hobbson

Why, this almost seems like REAL, prize-winning journalism! Again. How very not surprising.

(And to everyone here in Dogland, I can say this now having seen it w/ my own eyes: Bill is the hardest working chap in IndyCar. He's like a machine. A jovial, crazy-famous machine who never stops -- and who wide-eyed admirers gladly trample over babies & the elderly & me to merely talk to. It's quite extraordinary.)

Fred Hurley

Thanks for getting some time with Bowlby, PDog. I will admit that seeing it in scale with humans makes it somewhat less jarring, and certainly Bowlby says all the right thing. Two questions keep popping up, and I would like to see someone put them to Bowlby very directly. One of them is likely FUD, and I would like to see a clear refutation from him so it can be killed for good.

1.) The variable rear diff will be driver adjustable. The DeltaWing folks have said that this will replace the need for staggered tires on ovals, making tire design cheaper and easier. Some people seem to think (probably because of the skinny front tires) that this system will also help the car to steer by transferring torque to the outer rear wheel (like the system on some Acura road cars). For fans opposed to driver aids like traction control, this has been derided as yet another way for engineers to remove the driver from the equation, numbing the skill required to drive the car. Bottom line: Does the rear diff automatically transfer torque between wheels to help turn the car, or is it purely a replacement for tire stagger? If the latter, that takes away a bullet from the guns of opponents of the design.

2.) Fans (and some drivers) have commented that it will be tough to drive because drivers use their front wheels as guides for how close they will come to wall as they exit a corner. They have also pointed to the potential for a driver to try a pass where there isn't enough room, because they don't have a visual guide for the width of the car. Can this be addressed other than by just simply changing driving style? Because it seems like a pretty huge change in driving style that is unlike anything for which drivers have ever been trained in the lower formulas. Any work-around?

Dylan

Compare that to the Swift, and the Swift almost always wins.

Delta Wing would work better for the ALMS/Le Mans series, instead of the LMC class, run the trike, or, Delta Wing Class. It fits better with their image and marketing than Indycar.

Swift's desgins are pretty differant from teh current car, and they look like a racecar, instead of a trike. Or, get this to run eitehr in the AMA or other motorcycle class.

pressdog

Ha ha, Roy. It's amazing what having dinner with Roy and taking your cell phone cam along can do for ya. After some of the snaps I got, he's certainly going to be all like "pressdog rocks! and I wasn't anywhere near any livestock Friday night, Mr. Officer." I can report that Mrs. Hobbson and the Hobbettes are quite delightful.

Mark

Yeah, the P-Dog drives 8500 miles round trip for quals, posts a bazillion blogs and tweets, and Hobbson...spends the weekend hanging with the IZOD Girl and tormenting Jack Arute - and posting absolutely nothing at the Pagoda.

Winner: Hobbson.

pressdog

Fred: I shot your questions to B. Bowlby and he responded thusly ...


Bill .. excuse the hasty answers… lots on right now!

1. The diff does replace stagger and give only the effect of stagger in the turn (not on the straights however – this is a nice efficiency gain). The advantage of the stagger being driver adjustable is that it is in the driver’s control and not taking away anything from the driving talent department. It is absolutely not traction control.

2. The “delta” width front to rear certainly gives the impression to the spectator that the car will be hard to judge. Our investigations reveal that the drivers really do not judge where they are in space off the front wheels. We created the driver in the loop sims to check this out, the real difference to the current car is that the visibility is greatly enhanced! So we don’t think this will be a problem.

Ben Bowlby

pressdog

Mark ... Agreed. Hobbson is the CLEAR winner in your scenario. I still suspect he's really the Dos Equis man.

Fred Hurley

Thanks for getting those answer, PDog! As always, you rock.

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