New Indycar for 2012

Please discuss here all your remarks and pose your questions about all racing series, except Formula One. Both technical and other questions about GP2, Touring cars, IRL, LMS, ...

Post Mon Dec 26, 2011 1:54 am

scuderiafan wrote: but that's going to suit certain drivers and really hurt other drivers." - Dario Franchitti


It is so difficult being a big time Indycar driver.

Brian
hardingfv32
 
Joined: 3 Apr 2011

Post Mon Dec 26, 2011 5:48 am

Well it certainly isn't trivially easy for them.

I think it is very necessary to have reasonably driveable cars to ensure good racing. I've seen what happens when they are borderline undriveable - it is rare for anyone to be able to really challenge for position and overtake. Furthermore if you want the field to.be competitive the teams need to have the headroom to tune the cars. Nose weight ratio is a huge tuning knob.

A few other points worth discussing... for those adamant that the suppliers couldn't possibly be at fault for missing weight targets - onwhat are you basing this VERY bold presumption?

Beyond that, the claim that ballast is being used to make up for a "flawed" weight distribution rather than a tuning tool... how is there any distinction? Take the ballast out of just about any racecar and the static distribution isn't magically going to be what you necessarily want it to be. There is a certain reality that you can't escape in component packaging and placement, and a limitation in what distribution you can realistically achieve. I know this first hand, I've done it before.

Would Swift or Lola or anyone else have done better? That's very tough to say. Pulling several HUNDRED pounds out of an already lightweight car is a massive challenge and I could certainly see it leading to being painted into a box.

In any event, the point is still that you have to take a logical and fair assessment of these things. Even more important is one of the best life lessons of all: When you have a problem, wasting time pointing fingers, shuffling blame, and/or getting worked up and emotional will do you no good. The only thing that matters is finding the most reasonable solution, which in this case is to bump the minimum weight back up and let the teams ballast the cars the way they want to.
Grip is a four letter word.

2 is the new #1.
Jersey Tom
 
Joined: 29 May 2006
Location: Huntersville, NC

Post Mon Dec 26, 2011 6:33 am

How does one chassis fit 3 engines
WilliamsF1
 
Joined: 6 Jan 2010

Post Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:28 pm

Jersey Tom wrote: The only thing that matters is finding the most reasonable solution, which in this case is to bump the minimum weight back up and let the teams ballast the cars the way they want to.


And lose the green PC PR bull s*17? No way that will hapen.
rjsa
 
Joined: 2 Mar 2007

Post Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:29 pm

WilliamsF1 wrote:How does one chassis fit 3 engines

Standard mounting points? It's been done for a long time. Since the CART days.
rjsa
 
Joined: 2 Mar 2007

Post Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:25 pm

Jersey Tom wrote:A few other points worth discussing... for those adamant that the suppliers couldn't possibly be at fault for missing weight targets - onwhat are you basing this VERY bold presumption?

What the problem is is that Dallara seems to blame the problems on the suppliers. Based on what Dallara delivered(the Indy is actually too slow too) I find it more likely that Dallara mde some serious mistakes rather than that the suppliers parts are that much overweight.

Beyond that, the claim that ballast is being used to make up for a "flawed" weight distribution rather than a tuning tool... how is there any distinction? Take the ballast out of just about any racecar and the static distribution isn't magically going to be what you necessarily want it to be. There is a certain reality that you can't escape in component packaging and placement, and a limitation in what distribution you can realistically achieve. I know this first hand, I've done it before.


Let's say that this is a car that wasnt meant to run ballast at all, or very little to equalize the runners. They designed the car around a 48:52 weight distribution but it more came out 42:58, thus they need to place that ballast in the tip of the nose to actually make the car drivable. I am 100% sure that if Dallara did their job correctly there wouldnt be any ballast in the nose.

Would Swift or Lola or anyone else have done better? That's very tough to say. Pulling several HUNDRED pounds out of an already lightweight car is a massive challenge and I could certainly see it leading to being painted into a box.


I am sure that these two wouldnt have a flawed design with a ruined weight distribtuion. Seeing with the experience Dallara got it is just disappointing to see what they delivered.

In any event, the point is still that you have to take a logical and fair assessment of these things. Even more important is one of the best life lessons of all: When you have a problem, wasting time pointing fingers, shuffling blame, and/or getting worked up and emotional will do you no good. The only thing that matters is finding the most reasonable solution, which in this case is to bump the minimum weight back up and let the teams ballast the cars the way they want to.


Agreed here, and now everyone started to make their parts lighter to reach the weight said. But what is wrong is to let the teams pay extra for mistakes that Dallara(and it's suppliers) made.
"Bite my shiny metal ass" - Bender
wesley123
 
Joined: 23 Feb 2008

Post Mon Dec 26, 2011 6:27 pm

So supposedly (I haven't personally confirmed this), Dallara claims they had issues with what the suppliers delivered - presumably overweight. But you think this is somehow not the case and is some conspiracy by Dallara, covering up god knows what? I don't see any probable reason why that would be the case. Seems like a bit of a stretch to me.

As for cars being designed to not run ballast.. that makes no sense to me. Any car designer wants to be able to run as much ballast as possible. Any race team wants to be able to run as much ballast as possible.

Here's what I see as a plausible chain of events: ICONIC or IndyCar or whoever the hell set a chassis spec to Dallara, who have won the contract based on their conceptual work business proposition. Dallara has a very aggressive weight reduction target they have to meet, which likely is going to make it very challenging to have much working room to ballast the car. They do their initial design work and put placeholders for supplied parts and their anticipated weighs, and design around that to hit their design targets. Later in the design stage Dallara gets the final pieces from their various suppliers to find that they are appreciably overweight. At this point it's too late to spec another supplied part or to do fundamental redesign. They're stuck with what they have, and by being a bit overweight their headroom for ballasting and adjusting nose weight has shrunk.

Now to the point of other chassis manufacturers... first you effectively say, "Dallara has so much experience, it's crazy and disappointing that they goofed this much." This is followed up with, "Well I can't imagine Swift or Lola would have done this." How are they any different than Dallara? You couldn't imagine Dallara "screwing up," but did... if you couldn't imagine Swift or Lola "screwing up" how is that any different? I could see the same series of events going down and screwing anyone.

In any event, my opinion still stands that there is absolutely nothing wrong with putting ballast forward in a car. Who cares where it is? Would you prefer to keep it as centralized as possible to shed some polar inertia? Sure. But if it has to go forward to hit your nose weight target, then that's all there is to it. Making a big deal out of nothing here. Is it a safety concern to me? No. I don't see why it would be. If the final chassis was homologated, then that's all there is to it.

In any event, simplest solution is still to raise the minimum weight. I don't see how that is making the teams "pay" for anything.
Grip is a four letter word.

2 is the new #1.
Jersey Tom
 
Joined: 29 May 2006
Location: Huntersville, NC

Post Mon Dec 26, 2011 6:30 pm

As a final bit of fact checking, all this talk of "the car was supposed to be 1000 lb!" - where are you coming up with this? Everything I've read states that the targeted minimum weight for the new car (that means, in RUNNING trim, ballasted) is 1380 lb.
Grip is a four letter word.

2 is the new #1.
Jersey Tom
 
Joined: 29 May 2006
Location: Huntersville, NC

Post Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:07 pm

Jersey Tom wrote:So supposedly (I haven't personally confirmed this), Dallara claims they had issues with what the suppliers delivered - presumably overweight. But you think this is somehow not the case and is some conspiracy by Dallara, covering up god knows what? I don't see any probable reason why that would be the case. Seems like a bit of a stretch to me.


Of course I cannot back this up, so it is my assumption. I simply assume Dallara themselves have made some sort of error in its design. Even if every supplier part is overweight, then a 6% more rearward weight distribution is too much. It just doesnt sound right.

Also there are a few stories out of other camps stating that Dallara had already won the 'competition' before even starting it.

As for cars being designed to not run ballast.. that makes no sense to me. Any car designer wants to be able to run as much ballast as possible. Any race team wants to be able to run as much ballast as possible.


I do not see why you'd want your car to be overweight compared to others. Do you seriously think any of the teams would run their 20Lbs of ballast all the way in the front. It is an spec series and personally I would say it doesnt need ballast, in the worst case to equalize it, but not to fix a Weight Distribution that is 6% off what was aimed for

Here's what I see as a plausible chain of events: ICONIC or IndyCar or whoever the hell set a chassis spec to Dallara, who have won the contract based on their conceptual work business proposition. Dallara has a very aggressive weight reduction target they have to meet, which likely is going to make it very challenging to have much working room to ballast the car. They do their initial design work and put placeholders for supplied parts and their anticipated weighs, and design around that to hit their design targets. Later in the design stage Dallara gets the final pieces from their various suppliers to find that they are appreciably overweight. At this point it's too late to spec another supplied part or to do fundamental redesign. They're stuck with what they have, and by being a bit overweight their headroom for ballasting and adjusting nose weight has shrunk.


That is the case yes. But 6% is just too much. Apart from that, First builds are always a little bit heavier and Dallara just had to take that into account, which in my eyes seem like they didnt.

Now to the point of other chassis manufacturers... first you effectively say, "Dallara has so much experience, it's crazy and disappointing that they goofed this much." This is followed up with, "Well I can't imagine Swift or Lola would have done this." How are they any different than Dallara? You couldn't imagine Dallara "screwing up," but did... if you couldn't imagine Swift or Lola "screwing up" how is that any different? I could see the same series of events going down and screwing anyone.


Dallara indeed had much more experience, so you'd expect them to take such thing into account expecially when the weight distribution is virtually the same. To state that Lola or Swift would have done a better job, hard to say. The timeframe that Dallara has to work under isnt quite helping this whole situation actually.

In any event, simplest solution is still to raise the minimum weight. I don't see how that is making the teams "pay" for anything.


The teams have to pay for the fixes that Dallara and others are making to bring it to the target weight. The teams have to pay extra above what they already had to pay for the chassis.

http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/ ... -on-ovals/
http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/ ... ent-issues
"Bite my shiny metal ass" - Bender
wesley123
 
Joined: 23 Feb 2008

Post Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:07 pm

wesley123 wrote:That is the case yes. But 6% is just too much. Apart from that, First builds are always a little bit heavier and Dallara just had to take that into account, which in my eyes seem like they didn't.


Look at this from a engineering perspective:

If you remove the engine and transmission from the equation, what do are you left to work with to achieve the specified lightening goals? If you assume the old cars were reasonably designed and used somewhat current manufacturing techniques, where are the weight savings going to be found? I would assume the strengths and safety requirements are not any lower.

It would seem the engine and transmission weights would need to play a big role in the weight reduction effort.

Brian
Last edited by hardingfv32 on Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
hardingfv32
 
Joined: 3 Apr 2011

Post Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:06 pm

hardingfv32 wrote:Look at this from a engineering perspective:

If you remove the engine and transmission from the equation, what do are you left to work with to achieve the specified lightening goals? If you assume the old cars were reasonably designed and used somewhat current manufacturing techniques, where are the weight savings going to be found? I wound assume the strengths and safety requirements are not any lower.

It would seem the engine and transmission weights would need to play a big role in the weight reduction effort.

Brian


Brian.. for once we are in agreement! :)

Which is why I say that a big weight reduction target like that - hundreds of pounds - is IMMENSE for a chassis manufacturer by itself - particularly if there is a cost target as well. That reduction has to come in very large part from the engine and transmission.

It may have been that the reduction of weight ICONIC or whoever wanted was unreasonable for the size engine they wanted to use. Overweight engine and trans will both hose your total weight target AND your nose weight target.
Grip is a four letter word.

2 is the new #1.
Jersey Tom
 
Joined: 29 May 2006
Location: Huntersville, NC

Post Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:19 pm

I agree it is a big goal to set to yourself. Like said in my previous post, the time schedule wasnt really helping Dallara with it either.

I personally think they didnt need to set such an low target for themselves, I mean for waht was it needed? I am sure they will lower the weight in following seasons but to set a goal you are never going to reach is a bit over optimistic and after that admit you are wrong and you've made mistakes, but no now everyone has to work extra hard just because Dallara didnt meet their goals.
"Bite my shiny metal ass" - Bender
wesley123
 
Joined: 23 Feb 2008

Post Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:41 pm

wesley123 wrote:I personally think they didnt need to set such an low target for themselves, I mean for waht was it needed? I am sure they will lower the weight in following seasons but to set a goal you are never going to reach is a bit over optimistic and after that admit you are wrong and you've made mistakes, but no now everyone has to work extra hard just because Dallara didnt meet their goals.


Indycar did specify a goal to have a lighter car with the lower powered engines so as to at least maintain current performance.

We don't know that Dallara had ultimate project authority or control. They were not responsible for the engine specs and they did not source the transmissions.

Brian
hardingfv32
 
Joined: 3 Apr 2011

Post Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:01 pm

That minimum weight goal was not set by Dallara. It is set by the sanctioning body.

To your earlier question Wesley, do I think a team would run 20 lb of ballast in the front of the car? Absolutely. I sure as hell would.

It has nothing to do with being overweight, either. You (generally) use ballast to get TO the minimum weight because you are TOO LIGHT.

Here's how it works: The series specifies a minimum running weight, in this case 1380 pounds. I believe that is now including driver, in IRL. Regardless, as a chassis designer I am NOT designing my car to weigh 1380 pounds. If I am a car designer going into this, I know that (a) I have to take into account the driver, let's say up to 170 lb, (b) I want to make the car as light as possible to allow for the most ballast. More ballast means the teams have more leverage to get the CG lower and set their static mass distribution how they want it. Let's say in this case that my design target is 100 lb of ballast. That means that the car I design has to be 1380 - 170 - 100 = 1110 lb.

Of the 1110 lb car weight, some of that is going to be done internally and some will be purchased (engine, trans, wheels, tires, etc). Let's say arbitrarily that the engine and trans are projected to be 200 lb total, which means I am allowed 910 lb for the stuff I have to design.

I go ahead and design my 910 lb of parts just fine. But, my suppliers tell me their final product is 250 lb instead of 200 lb. I can't do anything about it because it's so late in the design phase - I'm stuck in a corner. Now, the Dallara parts + powertrain + driver = 1330 lb. This is overweight from what I predicted, and only allows 50 lb of ballast to hit minimum weight. In order to get the nose weight reasonable with only 50 lb, some of it (26 lb in the real example) has to go VERY far forward.

Again, bear in mind that ballast has nothing to do with being over the minimum weight. In any pro racing series, be it F1 or NASCAR or whatever... at the end of the race you are trying to be at minimum specified running weight. Your car by itself is going to weigh less than that. The ballast is just whatever extra mass you need to hit that target. Where it goes.. who cares. Goes wherever you need to set your car up right. This is why I don't see 26 lb far forward in the car as being a big deal. Did the teams anticipate needing to do this? No. Is it a big deal? No.

This is all assuming that the cars are actually below minimum weight.

From the articles floating around I haven't seen whether or not that is the case. I'd imagine so, but who knows. I see comments that the cars are over weight target... does that mean that they're OVER minimum (a BIG issue) or under minimum by less than they thought? That has yet to be seen.

In any event, from what I read it certainly looks that the root cause of all of this is an unrealistic target goal. If I go to an engine manufacturer and say, "I want a 800 hp 1.6L turbo V6 that weighs 10 lb" is it their fault that they can't do it? Or is it my fault for asking the impossible?
Grip is a four letter word.

2 is the new #1.
Jersey Tom
 
Joined: 29 May 2006
Location: Huntersville, NC

Post Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:43 pm

1st off Dallara claiming that it was vendors that caused the chassis to be overwieght if pure B.S. you can bet they meet the max wiehgt limits put forward by Duncelarra, Dullarra screwed this pouch from the get go, and the time limit is B.S. Panoz built & tested the DP01 in the same time frame and got it right, and Cotman was in charge of that build also, this is all on ICS and Dallarra, the last car the built for ICS was termed rightly as a crapwagon, this is the supercrapwagon, and Dario knows that Chippster has a private wind tunnel at his disposal, so Dario STFU
cossie
 
Joined: 24 Aug 2007

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