Friday, November 24, 2017

A peek at the new IndyCar chassis


The new IndyCar Dallara chassis, which makes its debut this weekend on the streets of St. Petersburg, is markedly different from the model that raced in the series since 2003. The car is named the DW12 chassis in honor of the late Dan Wheldon, the St. Petersburg resident who did the development and testing on the car last year. IndyCar decided in 2010 to do a revamp of the series' cars. A seven-person committee, including series CEO Randy Bernard and former Indianapolis 500 winner Gil de Ferran, looked at proposals from Lola, Delta Wing and Swift before settling on Dallara, the reigning manufacturer.

Five things to know about the new car

Smaller engines.

The 2.2-liter, six-cylinder, turbocharged power units are a change from the old 3.5-liter, normally aspirated engines. They are expected to produce between 550 and 700 horsepower.

The rear end.

Perhaps the most noticeable difference. Pieces of body work cover the back of the rear wheels, one of the most radical changes in open-wheel racing. It's for safety, designed to keep cars from launching over the rear wheels of the car in front.

Wider sidepod.

The sidepod extends out at the bottom. The body extends slightly past the wheels on the sides to help prevent tires from touching.

Bodywork over the front of the rear wheels.

Another feature to help prevent wheels from interlocking.

The driver's compartment.

There are 3 inches of foam in the cockpit and an inch under the seat. A new right-side panel is designed to reduce the force when hitting outside walls.
Five hot topics

1. How much safer is it?

Driver Helio Castroneves: "I feel safe in this car. It's designed to be safer — safer in the cockpit, safer for racing, especially with the sidepod we have to prevent the scenario of the car flying and interlocking wheels and things like that."

Team owner Sarah Fisher: "I think a lot of the new features they brought into this new car are several steps ahead of the prior cars."

2. Anything else the series could have done in terms of safety?

Driver Will Power: "My suggestion would be to have kind of a higher nose and like what the NHRA has which is a completely enclosed head rest. I think that wouldn't have been that hard to do."

3. Do fans and/or sponsors care about there being a new car?

Fisher: "Some people who know about the sport are excited … and even folks that are unfamiliar with it. The new car is a great talking piece."

Team co-owner Jimmy Vasser: "It's more interest in the sport. There's a story there, so they do care."

Grand Prix of St. Petersburg general manager and vice president Tim Ramsberger: "Yeah, people are excited, they're asking a lot of questions about this car."

4. Do drivers like it so far?

Driver Tony Kanaan: "There were people complaining, but it's a new car and we've got to get used to it. I love it, I think it's a great car."

Driver Dario Franchitti: "For the road courses it's a great car. It definitely had some imbalances (initially) but we're getting closer to where we need to be."

5. Is it nice to look at?

Team owner Bryan Herta: "I think in general it's a pretty ugly race car. But they all look good in winner's circle. Some of it's really nice, the problem is it's hard to get past a couple of the big warts to see the nice parts."

Vasser: "A lot of it has to do with how you paint it. The car's starting to grow on us."

Region football: Plant 13, Lakeland 10

Region football: Plant 13, Lakeland 10

LAKELAND — The game — and the season — were supposed to be over.Lakeland was set to exact revenge. The Dreadnaughts had the lead and the ball in the final three minutes and were heading for a field goal. Then it happened. The magic continued.Plant’s ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Region football: Venice 48, Tampa Bay Tech 17

VENICE — Tampa Bay Tech not only had to stop a hot receiver in Friday night’s Class 7A region final against Venice, but a hot running back as well. That proved to be too much.Indians receiver Jaivon Heiligh caught 14 passes for 193 yards and three to...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Region football: Armwood 31, Ocala Vanguard 17

SEFFNER — Armwood appeared to be on its way to yet another rout through the first 24 minutes of football Friday night.James Miller delivered a crunching hit on the opening kickoff. The defense looked suffocating, holding Ocala Vanguard to a mere 23 y...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Region football: Immokalee 42, Lakewood 14

IMMOKALEE — The final score wasn’t truly indicative of what transpired on Friday night.Lakewood fell to a dynamic Immokalee squad 42-14 in a tough environment in a Class 5A region final.The Spartans (9-2) forced three turnovers and held Immokalee (12...
Updated: 2 hours ago
State semifinal football: Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna 49, Clearwater Central Catholic 3

State semifinal football: Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna 49, Clearwater Central Catholic 3

CLEARWATER — Stocked with a wealth of Division I-A commits and prepared by a heavy-duty schedule, Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna spent three months building for Friday night’s Class 3A state semifinal game.The Lions played at another level against top-s...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rose leaves Cavs for ‘personal matter’

Rose leaves Cavs for ‘personal matter’

CLEVELAND — Derrick Rose’s injuries might have pushed him to a breaking point. The 2011 league MVP, who has been trying to revive his career with the Cavaliers, left the team Wednesday to handle a personal matter. A team spokesman said Friday that Ro...
Updated: 3 hours ago

State semifinal football: Hialeah Champagnat Catholic 38, Cambridge Christian 0

TAMPA — Hialeah Champagnat Catholic was well on its way to a third unanswered touchdown, but the Lions just couldn’t stop blocking their own path. In one second-quarter drive during Friday’s 2A state semifinal against Cambridge Christian, Champagnat ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Lightning attitude under fire after loss to Capitals

Lightning attitude under fire after loss to Capitals

WASHINGTON — You don’t often sense frustration in captain Steven Stamkos’ voice, at least not this season. With the Lightning off to its best start in franchise history, there haven’t been many reasons to chide. Every criticism seems nitpicky. But af...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Hogs boot Bielema out after five seasons

Hogs boot Bielema out after five seasons

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas fired football coach Bret Bielema after five disappointing seasons, moments after a season-ending 48-45 loss to Missouri on Friday. Arkansas finished 4-8, capping the second losing season of Bielema’s 12-year career. He ...
Updated: 3 hours ago

TODAYAutosF1: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix qualifying8 a.m.NBCSNCollege basketballSavannah State at Texas Tech3 p.m.FSFNorth Florida at Miami4 p.m.Fox SunEmerald Coast Classic, final: TCU vs. St. Bonaventure-Maryland winner7 p.m.CBSSNBoston College at Provid...
Updated: 3 hours ago