How To Make IndyCar A Great Racing Series Again

IndyCar is boring; there, I said it. The oval-hazed pseudo Formula 1 racing series' lack of chassis originality between teams, limited North American scope, and lack of relevance towards absolutely anyone does not help it overcome the I'm-an-open-wheel-version-of-NASCAR stigma, but instead of complaining, let's fix it.

The reason I love Formula 1 so much is that the cars are never stagnant, even when they are physically stagnant! Engineers and aerodynamicists always compete with each other in the background to improve their chassis. Adding this spice to IndyCar could potentially make the American racing series something consumable, something to watch and talk about when the cars aren't on track.

Shaking up the IndyCar structure during F1's make-or-break turbo V6 era should scare Bernie and his CVC Capital cronies out of hiding. F1 doesn't have much to compete with on the global scale; some may say NASCAR, but I don't think fans cross over as much as they think.

These new IndyCar regulations would also give F1 teams leverage over the FIA, a reason to leave if things aren't going their way, and F1 drivers a place to drive without having to show a boatload of cash or having to circumnavigate Kevin Spacey (Yes, House of Cards reference...).

Here are some rules I dreamt up (completely up for discussion):

1. Standard Chassis

How To Make IndyCar A Great Racing Series Again

A serious advantage of IndyCar is that the cars are all competitive. I don't want to completely take this away and make a bad F1 lookalike.

Let's start by getting a new chassis because the current ones look terrible. The old one (just above) is relatively good-looking, at least enough for this thought experiment.

2. Road Car Based Engines & Fuel Limit

How To Make IndyCar A Great Racing Series Again


Road Relevance; this is the thing that makes automotive companies interested in racing. These new engine regulations should help (1) test their equipment in the high-stress environment of a racing series and (2) promote their brand, not just with fake-tattoo-racing-stickers, but by proving the technology of their equipment (that you can actually buy!) in a winning racecar.

Engine Eligibility: 25k Engines (or More) Sold Each Year Worldwide.

Hopefully this regulation will keep us from (1) hearing the same noise from each car and endlessly complaining about it, (2) stop highly powerful niche engines running away from the field, and (3) give manufacturers a reason to support a racing series.

Engines with a turbo, supercharger, hybrid system, or normal aspiration must continue to support and race with similar systems. This rule is interesting...

130kg Fuel Limit

The fuel limit is not exactly what you may think of after watching the 2014 season of F1. Because of the multitude of possible engines, this limit is again meant to stop a team running away from the field with a highly powerful niche engine while also promoting turbo and hybrid/ERS use in certain instances.

obviously the specific amount depends on the race distance; 130 kg was just an example.

Specific Tuning

Tuning will be allowed, but I am not sure about the specifics.

No barriers on rev limit, Whoo! Let's bask in the glory. Although, the road-based engines should hold this somewhat within contention.

Another advantage of the engine: manufacturers may slightly consider how building an engine would affect their IndyCar efforts.

3. Free-Design Areas

How To Make IndyCar A Great Racing Series Again

The aerodynamicists part in this new IndyCar would come about at the front and rear of the car and at the engine cover, while the chassis and main bodywork elements would remain standard.

Front & Rear Wing Sections (Yellow)

Picture a rectangular box where the front wing and rear wing are; this is the free-design area.

Anything is allowed. Specific dimensions are up for discussion.

Engine Cover Section (Orange)

A single sheet of carbon that does not deviate more than 90 degrees within 12 inches (except across the centerline), and does not deviate more than 180 degrees within the entire engine cover.

The engine cover will exist from the airbox inlet to the rear diffuser, but not including the majority of the sidepods. The only holes that will be allowed are inlets and outlets with a specific cooling purpose.

4. No More Ovals

How To Make IndyCar A Great Racing Series Again

Because I said so... Okay let's have a vote.

I would approve of the ovals that incorporate real corners, like the Daytona 24 hour and Indianapolis F1 tracks, because I do understand the appeal of being able to watch the cars 90% of their way around (more apparent at Daytona).

5. Geographic Expansion / 25 Race Season

How To Make IndyCar A Great Racing Series Again

I do understand that IndyCar races outside of North America to a degree (or do they?), but with these new rules and F1's political game, IndyCar has the ability to become much more global than it currently is.

Track Selection is Key!

Basically, I'd like to see these cars race at tracks like Monza, Spa, Interlagos, Silverstone, Bathurst, Laguna Seca, CotA, [Insert Any Other Suggestions Here], and stop racing on bad street courses.

The 25 race season is an attempt to better attract people to thinking about the championship and promote the importance of each race.

6. Constructors Championship / Better Sponsors

How To Make IndyCar A Great Racing Series Again

While I do completely understand that you can't just tell somebody to be a sponsor, I do think that some of these rules (engines, constructors championship, aero design) will open the market back up to automotive manufacturers though their road relevance appeal.

...and that should fix IndyCar. Suggestions?