The decision on the 2012 IndyCar was supposed to be made by today, June 30. IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard has said recently that the decision might be made by today, but the announcement won't be for a week or two.
UPDATE: Indy Star's Curt Cavin reported Wednesday afternoon the announcement will be on July 14.
The contenders are Dallara, DeltaWing, Swift, BAT and Lola. Check many posts on them all here.
Hope springs eternal for a multiple-chassis ruling, but several chassis makers have said unless they can have the economy of scale of supplying the whole field, they can't afford to offer a chassis at all.
My favorite remains the Swift, strictly based on aesthetics and promises of close racing. As a fan, I care little about how it works and mainly want it to go fast, look good and allow for close racing. Swift has also done the most fan outreach of the contenders.
If I had to bet, I'd probably put money on Dallara. Their 14 years of working with the league are going to be hard to overcome.
DeltaWing has been an interesting case study in this whole process. They came busting out of the gate early, unveiling their radical new design with a lot of fanfare at a Chicago car show.
Reaction was immediate in both directions. Some loved the ideas behind the design and its radicalness. Some hated the look. The consensus behind the DeltaWing, it seems to me, has gone from initial "the hope for any kind of future in IndyCar" (I am paraphrasing here) to "love the theory behind it" to "can't get past the look of it" today. Some I've talked to would be OK with having it selected -- as long as it's one of several selected.
I love the courage of Ben Bowlby and the DeltaWing posse to come forward with a truly radical new idea, but for me the tricycle-like nature of it was a deal breaker from the first.
The good news is, this decision is moving forward. IndyCar cannot afford continued delays in establishing a new engine and chassis spec. The "bad economy" excuse wore out a couple years ago. I would recommend the league start thinking about its NEXT car, maybe set to come out in 2015 to 2017, the day after it announces its 2012 spec.
And kudos to the current Dallara, much maligned as it sometimes is, for lasting as long as it has. Designed to race on ovals for three years, it has raced on ovals and twisties for 10, with another year to come. The fact that the Dallara is as old as it is and still performs as well as it does is a tribute to the people who designed and built it.
No matter what the decision, I'm impressed that the ICONIC panel of experts was formed to (theoretically) work through the proposals from each maker and come up with a recommendation. An orderly, methodical, plausibly objective approach to issues is always a good idea.
We shall see what that decision is.