Today at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Honda pulled the covers off of their Superspeedway aero kit that will be used in next month’s Indianapolis 500. Doug Boles, Derrick Walker, and Steve Eriksen (Vice President and COO for HPD) were on hand to talk about the design, and the race.
The car on display was the Andretti Autosport No. 29 car, which will be driven by Simona de Silvestro in the 500. Among those there to see it in person were car owner Bobby Rahal, and SPM driver Conor Daly. Earlier in the day, Conor saw his No. 43 car for the first time, in the team’s shop.
Eriksen went over the design in great detail, pointing out some new and interesting features. While the front wings had minor changes, the rear end of the car was completely different. The rear wing design came from a “glider” concept, and is very sleek looking. Steve mentioned that this rear wing is special to only the Indianapolis 500, and that the other large ovals (Texas, Pocono, Fontana) will have different designs. “This is the only place that you will see it,” he said.
I took a quick video of the car, which looks stunning in person.
Though he wasn’t asked directly, Eriksen knew that the questions about speed would come. “I expect an increase in speed (in practice and qualifying), but I won’t say how much,” he said.
“We’re excited to unveil our superspeedway aero kit, the newest element in this era of enhanced manufacturer competition in the Verizon IndyCar Series,” HPD president Art St. Cyr said. “Coupled to our proven Honda Indy V6 engines, these aero kits are the products of thousands of hours of research, development and testing, as we seek to give our drivers and teams the tools they need to win the race that Honda holds as its most important goal each season; the Indianapolis 500.”
The aero kit will make its on track debut this Sunday during Opening Day on the 2.5-mile oval. Veterans will practice from 9:30 – 10:45, with Rookie Orientation/Refreshers taking place from 10:45 – Noon. From 1:00 – 5:00, the track will be open for all cars. The entry list for Opening Day can be found here.
Full day recaps throughout the month of May can be found here at Open Wheel America.
Photos, via IndyCar