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June 12, 2010

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Nathan

I don't really want the car to win.

I want the CONCEPT to win. Whoever wins out must apply Delta's thinking to their cars:

1. 4 cylinder engines
2. Smaller, lighter cars
3. Lower costs
4. Built domestically
5. Better safety
6. Better fuel economy
7. TURBOS!
8. All that but same performance of today

That's all we've heard from IndyCar and the ICONIC people the past few months.

All those things were talked about by The DW people well before not only their concept, but the others were drawn up.

They really stirred the pot and we're all the better for it.

I hope they build the prototype and test it. We all want to know if it can WORK. If it does it could end up becoming the 2017 chassis.

Concerned Fan

@Nathan: None of those things are "Delta's thinking." All of those things---except #8, which is unacceptable---are the thinking of of the IRL. They are the ones that established those criteria.

Savage Henry

I would love to see the DeltaWing as one of the car options for 2012. I don't know if that's feasible, from a safety point of view, to have this car on-track with other designs. However, this car should have a chance to prove it on the track.

I wouldn't want to have this car be the "spec" car for the series starting in 2012. But then again, I don't want any "spec" car. The storyline of "traditional" vs. "radical" designs would be great for the series.

I believe that by 2020, racing cars are going to look more like the DeltaWing than the current designs. It just makes too much sense, ugly or not.

Dylan

Disagree, I don't think fuel efficancy matters in a racecar that's not at Le Mans. Can't say I support the 4cylinder idea either... and we need better preformance, not the same. My view is Delta Wing woud make a great addition to ALMS instead of LMC.

The Speedgeek

I agree with every last thing Nathan and Savage Henry wrote up there. Every single automaker, domestic and foreign, is looking at every single one of those aspects when it comes to cars in the future. Read a Car and Driver or watch a show like FastLaneDaily.com and you'll see that every manufacturer is going to smaller, more efficient (while still powerful) engines, lighter weight (weight is the enemy of speed and fuel economy), all while maintaining or lowering corporate costs. There's no reason that the racing world shouldn't follow suit. It makes sense.

Someday soon (I'm talking ten or so years from now), V12 and maybe even V8 engines are going to be extinct in all but the most expensive exotic cars. Even trucks will have an increasing number of V6 engines (Ford is already doing this with its EcoBoost V6 engine in the F150) or have V8s with extreme fuel saving technology (cylinder deactivation, start/stop mild hybrid technology), and most passenger cars will have 4-cylinders or V6s at the upper end. As the world's fuel supply burns away (or floats off into the sea), this is critical. No manufacturer will want to put a fuel hog massive horsepower racing engine into the world, because they will be seen on a global level (by potential customers, who are a far different group from race fans) as being environmentally irresponsible. Besides, if you can have a car that makes less power, uses far less fuel and runs just as fast as the cars of today, why wouldn't you do it?

Question to Concerned Fan: I'm confused as to why all of that is the IRL's thinking. Is that because of the press conference they had with Dallara in the week or two before the DW unveiling? Because my reaction to that is that all of that rhetoric was in reaction to the development and ethos of the DW, which had been in development for months at that point and which they knew was about to be rolled out. No? Thoughts?

Andy Bernstein

Concerned Fan is correct: all of the general design criteria had been discussed since the first engine rountable meetings and in public statements about future race cars by Barnhart and MacTaggart. Before anyone knew the Delta was being planned.

Agreed with Bill, the radical departure of the Delta was unforseen, since it's not a car: it's a brilliantly executed design of a concept vehicle.

Under the cover was a machine that looked somewhat unique, and requires control systems untested by race car drivers and ambiguous in complexity and cost.

But Bowlby, that guy is a piece of work. He's made mistakes in the past, like every designer. There is no one set of anwers, or every F1 and prospective IndyCar would be close to identical. Always compromises, and in the Delta's case some extreme ones. Perhaps they are all valid, and perhaps the results will be proven one day.

The whole story has been fascinating to watch, and the bite-sized lessons in vehicle dynamics delivered by a Master of the Art has been enlightening. Those of us who were absent from class at Indy missed a lot.

So Bill is spot on: Bowlby's genius gives insight to other designers, the IRL, Firestone, market analysts, and everyone else paying attention.

Now all we need is a new IndyCar. And since there will be only one, it should complement the current field...not eliminate it.

The Delta prototype has not been funded. Expecting 66 new race cars to be constructed and purchased is another radical concept, and one that creates even more skepticism in my mind.

J. Madison

Big props to Ben Bowlby! He has really put his heart and soul into this project and has been very classy and kind throughout. Also, it is my understanding that Ben's concept has Bernie Eccelstone nervous and that's a good thing on many different levels!

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