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July 16, 2010

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Dylan

All that mattered was giving Indiana 75 jobs... Swift was imploying horrible foriegner's from Californa, which is obviously not part of the US, and would have offened all of the fans for doing so...
Had Swift been Indiana based, I'd say we'd have seen a very differant (and better) outcome.

Doug Patterson

What's the line on Swift making a bid for the new IndyLights chassis?

redd

So Swift can go build chassis for all those other racing series that need them.

Okay.

AZZO45

Doug: Why would Indycar take something away from Dallara? They didn't have the nads to take away the Indycar Ball. Just add 5 more people to the future 75 workin' in Speedway for the Lights car

With the ACO mandating P2 cars be powered by motors(non-stressed) costing no more than $90,000 the numerous sportcar series will need new P2 chassis. A "Mushroom Buster" in ALMS sounds good to me. Perhaps hanging on a Swift 33 or 50???

Ryan Seacrest

Seacrest.....OUT!

The Speedgeek

Had Swift been Indiana based, we could be seeing spec-Swifts in 2012. Instead we're going to see semi-spec-Dallaras. I'll take semi-spec over spec any day.

Swift had a very cool design (my favorite, in fact), but the avoiding the spec thing was the thing that people brought up over and over again in blogs, on call-in shows and at the fan forums. One path was allowing for variety to appear on track. We got it. Sorry, Swift.

Dylan

I'd take an attractive spec series over an ugly "open kit" spec series.... Besides, Dallara will still get to brand all of the cars that run their aero kit Dallara's, so they aren't really probably going to lose much of the naming, unless Open Kit takes off....

pressdog

Again, I'd be shocked if the mass of fans (95% or better) gave a shit about "spec" or "non-spec." "Spec series" isn't what keeps fans from IndyCar. "Spec series" isn't what's driving fans from NASCAR, I don't believe. Fans want close, unpredictable, no-bullshit racing. NASCAR's issue is the bullshit factor, IMO, not the Tank of Tomorrow. If non-spec gets us to the goal, great. If spec gets us there, great. The end (close, unpredictable racing) is waaaaaaaaaaaaay more important than the means. I think if you asked fans "If we had 27 Lola's on the track and during any given race ANY of them could win, should we go that way, or do we do a 'non-spec' thing where cars look different but teams dominate?" I think the spec series gets the nod every time. Having said all that, did the league actually do research among a big, scientifically representative sample of fans to find out what they want? Or did they just read blogs and hear from the .4% of vocal fans?

redd

So all of the sudden spec racing is cool as long as it's your choice? Sure--the new idea is risky and totally depends on the "open kit taking off." But despite the risk, it could have a big payoff.

"It's unlikely the quality of racing will be considered in the aero design." Really? Aero has nothing to do with the quality of racing? Learn something every day...


The Speedgeek

Look, that hologram stitch-up that we saw on Wednesday may not even look like what the cars are going to look like. ICONIC, from what I heard, gave Dallara about 48 hours to put those images together. The final product might look different, i.e. even cooler, than what we saw.

I just don't totally understand the venom directed toward Dallara. Is it because they're supposedly Brian Barhnart's BFFs? Is it because they've been gouging teams on prices (something I'm not real pleased with, but it sounds like is going to be addressed with the new car)? Is it because they've supported the "Evil Old IRL" since 1997 (something Marshall Pruett mentioned in his column)?

I'm right there with redd. Every single word I read from the blogs, every single word at the fan forums and every single word I've heard from people outside that scope (and I've talked to a few current non-fans) said that they want variety back. Everybody said that identical cars is not what they wanted. Now, we got our shot at variety (the only one that I can see from the whole process) and everybody is going to complain?

The Indiana thing...I don't know what to tell you guys about that. It is, however, in effect, Indiana taxpayer money. The politician dog and pony show that we got on Wednesday was unfortunate, because it made it look like the factory was what it's all about, but I really think that the Speedway Dallara factory was just a bonus thing thrown in and then the politicians saw a chance to curry some good favor among voters by getting up on stage. The "coupons", though...how would it look to ship Indiana taxpayer money to Hockley, TX, Charlotte, Dublin, OH, or Lincolnshire, IL? Not good. So, you know what? Those teams get to buy cars at list price. A price that's 40% cheaper than what they were paying before. On the other hand, there's a chance that the "coupon" might interest Indy-based GrandAm teams to either switch to IndyCar, or attract out-of-state IndyCar teams to move to Indy because they can buy two cars for just over the price of one GrandAm tank and they can get away from that rapidly dying series (car count has trended down 3-4 cars per year for the last 3 years). Let's say (this, folks, is some wild, wild speculation) Bob Stallings decides to move to Indy and run his guys in IndyCar. Voila! We get Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney back! Let's say that a Browsburg Silver Crown team (if one exists, otherwise, pick any town with a Silver Crown team) decides to buy a car and run it occasionally because it's really cheap. Voila! We get Levi Jones or Chad Boat or whoever Robin Miller's been talking about this week running occasional oval races. Oh, and because they're already trained to run tracks like that, we'd probably see them at Iowa, Loudon and Milwaukee. Sounds good, no?

Sorry, I just don't really understand all of the swing in sentiment from Tuesday to Thursday. Seems like people wanted one thing on Tuesday, we got the best path to that thing, but then on Thursday it was "no, we wanted something else"? Would it have been nice to have 3-4 different cars on the grid? Sure, but it'd also be nice for all of us (team owners included) to win the lotto four weeks in a row. Wasn't going to happen.

Just...be patient, folks. I think some aero kit makers will come play (the numbers aren't that crazy to break even) and I have some faith that the cars will look cool and be fast. Isn't that what we want, regardless of who has their name on the numberplate on the tub?

redd

Right on, S-geek. That's what I'd have said if I was smarter.

(Interesting point about the simmering Dallara hatred.)

JP

I hereby appoint Speedgeek the official arbiter of common sense and level headedness amongst the greater IICS blogger community.

Dylan suppose you have a blind date with a woman you've never met or seen, does that mean she's ugly?

Swift isn't out, they are waiting...

Mike R

It's the variable of something other than spec cars that is exactly what CAN de-throne the bigger teams, but that will never last for long.

Swift "out" is exactly what I meant about these 'participants' having to go in 'blind' on the previous posting about this issue. You (the participating aero-package mfg) are expected to subscribe to everything Dallara has deemed to be the way to go in terms of a tub.

The upside, who's (capable of/going to) making the best lemonade from these lemons? The downside, what if the lemons are flawed from the start and you (the mfg) see no way to make good lemonade from them? Then you pull back, ala Swift and Delta Wing.

Another upside, you may have small independent people and/or related businesses stepping into the role. There likely are innovators out there who haven't previously had an avenue into this realm. Some will undoubtedly fail at the attempt to make the better pieces, but some may win, and we see new players emerging to challenge.

Personally, of course I'd have rather seen 2 (or more) mfgs get approval, and I frankly don't see why the series couldn't have set it up in this manner:

You (mfg) build the best car you can knowing that it can NEVER be sold through anyone but our series. There is no direct sale from mfg to team. WE take delivery of all chassis, and WE sell it for "X" number of dollars to whoever wants it. That figure is set by us, and won't change, and will be the exact same amount for every mfg's chassis. You (mfg) won't know who it's going to, you just know that we have an order for one. You make it in the manner that meets our criteria and still provides you with the profit you need to keep doing it. These are the tech rules for what the car may or may not have, and what they MUST have. Here is the crash data we're going to employ that you must meet/exceed to play. Coyne, Ganassi, or Bob Stallings or Kasey Kahne can buy one of these right off our floor, from us, at this price, be it Dallara or Swift or Lola or BAT or DeltaWing. Same thing with the engines. Nobody gets their motors straight from Honda or whoever...they talk to Tony Cotman and get it from him.

They essentially tried to do this with fixing the price on the tub/cell. I just frankly don't see why they couldn't have done it with more than one mfg.

Spec vs non-spec, it will always shake out, in the long-run, that the bigger teams will rise simply because of the cubic dollars they can throw at a car. There's no replacement for the experience that a knowledgable engineer/designer can bring (see Adrian Newey), and when they know this, they're gonna charge for it. It's the bigger teams that can afford them, and the cream repeatedly will rise to the top.

Dylan

Um....... well, so they've not even figured out the "saftey cell".... good job! Indycar!!! You guys are brilliant!!! What bothers me most, is that if we have to stay with more of the same, why couldn't this announcement have been made this time in 08, and the new Dallara's hit hte tracks for this season, as that's the exact timetable they've got for 2012. It's just after having THE SAME CAR for most of the last decade, people are tired of them, and to get more of the same....

Apps 55753818692 1528695533 7c7c704e0d7782ad6606b827f7520947

'Toy's R'Us" jas just enough time to get out a new line of Indy-cars & Izod has enough time for the Macy's day Parade. A Japaneese-Italian business joke could be appropriate or a new line of Izod striped polos for the pit crew. How does Sarah Fisher compete now? Can she use an older model of Dallara.
In order to get a 70K "aero-kit" many $$$$-yen have to be spent first for R&D...aero kits have to be tested.

Demond Sanders

I loved loved loved Swift... but I have to think the possibility of having some real differences out there (both aesthetic and competitive) is worth shooting for. I was as sick as anyone to hear Dallara had triumphed, but upon further review I think it is a worthwhile gamble.

2012 can't get here soon enough.

Bearcat

Swift and Lola will come and play if they believe they can make money, i.e. they can sell enough kits to turn a profit or some auto manufacturer(Honda, GM, Ford, Mazda, etc.) pays them to design and build a branded aero kit for them.

Mike M

I fully expected for people to be upset because they simply want to complain. It was a no win scenario for some because they don't want to like it.

Most of the teams are located in Indianapolis. Having the tubs made there just makes business since. It saves the teams money and if you've paying attention, that's very important thing these days.

For the most part, it seems that those who support the sport are good with this idea, realizing it was the only choice that could work. As Eddie Gossage said, those who can't accept the future and support the series have different agendas. I will be there at Indy in 2012 seeing 230's being turned on the track with different looking cars. I can't find an issue with that.

pressdog

It's almost impossible to comment on the state of the deal since there are a trillion ifs, maybes, perhaps, don't know, not sures running around. Not that that prevents people from commenting. As I said, looks good -- in theory -- I'm not going to get whipped up one way or another until we see how it looks in practice. I will say that if the bid process asked everyone to design a new car and then when they got there it was "oh, wait, we want to know if you want to design a new safety cell," that is a crappy move on the league's part. Sometimes crappy moves can't be avoided, but that doesn't make them less crappy. Again, unless I can see clear benefit, either in actual profit or brand building, I'd stay away if I were Swift.

The Speedgeek

Well, Dylan, the whole "this should have happened two years ago" thing is an entirely different debate. I actually agree with you 100% on that, but we might as well argue about why World War I started or second guess what Custer did at Little Big Horn. I'm sure that the folks within the League would give you reasons as to why this dragged until 2010 (like, they were too busy with reunification in 2008 and then too busy trying to figure out who was steering the ship in 2009, neither of which are necessarily reasons to put off a new car, in my opinion), but it's a little late to wonder about what did or didn't happen two years ago.

Mike R,
My understanding about only having one tub supplier (and why more than one wouldn't work) is that manufacturers have to divide the cost of developing the new car and the required profit level by the number of cars they sell. For a company like Swift, with not very many employees and not very many other projects going on, if you reduce the number of cars they sell by half, the cost likely nearly doubles. The number of engineers and CAD tube guys is the same regardless of how many cars they sell, so the only way to amortize their costs and make the level of profit they need to keep the lights on is to sell a lot of cars. For a company like Dallara, though, much bigger production-wise and involved in many, many other racing projects, they can afford to run their per-car profit margin razor thin. It's like the difference between Tesla charging (ha! Sorry.) $100,000-120,000 per car they sell and GM being able to charge $25,000 or whatever for the Volt. GM can afford to just make $100 per car because they've got a lot of other revenue streams. Same with Dallara, so I'm sure that's why they were able to hit such a low price point with the new car, even with no guarantee on vending all of the aero kits.

Presdog,
I agree, there a million questions yet to be answered, but I'm willing to give everybody some time to get those answered. That's why I refuse to get too whipped up into a froth, either. As for what happened in the bidding process...I wasn't in any of the ICONIC meetings, so I'm unwilling to speculate on any backhanded dealings that may or may not have happened. The folks who are speculating that there was all manner of impropriety involved may just as well speculate that there was massive sacrificing of goats at the beginning of every ICONIC conference call. None of us were there, so there's no real way to know until somebody (Gil de Ferran, Ben Bowlby, Brian Barnhart, Mark Page, whoever) is willing to go on record as saying "here's how it went down".

pressdog

Geek, if we're speculating randomly, I always favor "there might have been snipers." The black helicopters are always airborne with some people. Who knows. I plan to largely ignore the new chassis/engine froth until such time as someone says "we're going to make kits" or engines, or both. Best news remains that they are both moving forward.

The Speedgeek

'Dog,
It occurs to me that I may have been implying that you were speculating about impropriety. That wasn't what I was trying to do. You sort of allowed that there could have been in your previous post (in the same way that I allow that I might have picked the wrong flavor of ice cream for dessert last night), but I've seen open speculation of impropriety in other places. I'm OK with what you said, but the "black helicopter" folks are a bit over the top.

Oh, also, I referred to somebody here the other day as a "wussy boy". What I forgot was that nobody could see me pointing both thumbs at myself when I typed that. I forget that there isn't webcam video of me writing up my diatribes for everybody to enjoy. Sorry if I ticked off anybody with that remark.

Mike R

Speedgeek,
Ya, it was after I posted what I did that I realized exactly what you point out in your reply. If Dallara sells 100 tubs, and Swift gets, say, 30 - 40% of the aero-pack orders (if they were going to play), at 70K per car, it probably would barely pay for the tooling/molds, etc, plus the employees who design it and build it, plus their support staff...that's not a profitable venture.

After hearing what Robin said about Lola and Swift both only wanting to be the sole/exclusive supplier, it all made a lot more sense as to how it shook out the way it did.

I have no problem with the idea per-se. If I have doubts, it's ultimately about whether we'll actually see varying designs of bodywork, and if there's going to be enough significant difference to make one better on superspeedways while the other's better on road courses, and so on. I can see where they may well end up with Dallara bodywork because of the point of profiting from the venture.

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