Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The IndyCar Aerokit Debate (In Summation)

The owners do not want differing aero kits in 2012.

Most fans, it seems, do.

As I type this, the sentiment is running about 90/10 (or higher) in favor of allowing differing aero kits in 2012.We're hearing the same from drivers, and I have to think the 2012 engine manufacturers will want the same. I personally think we need to keep this open; if the owners don’t want to diverge from the Dallara aero kit, that’s fine. But if Foyt Racing or Ganassi wants to run a different aero kit, nothing should stop them from having to do so. While I don’t want Randy Bernard to disregard owner input entirely, he has to understand fans want (some would say "need") this. The IZOD IndyCar Series needs these kits, not only for the hardcore fan, but for the casual racing fan as well. More variables, more strategies, more aesthetic factors mean more interest, more depth.

That said, I’m not an owner. I can’t tell them how to spend their money. But neither do I want them dictating to the series how others can spend theirs.

I’m eager for new engine manufacturers in 2012. But as a fan, I’m also excited to see different aero kits come into play. I hope that happens by May of next year at the latest. We can't be afraid of failure; we have to be excited for progress and innovation.

6 comments:

  1. As a loyal fan I have been patient, so patient. Since 96 attending 2-3 races a year, Watching or recording every race on Television, Buying Izod clothing, Firestone tires, shopping at Miejers and Target, Verizon phones supporting all the sponsors, defending the sport on twitter and the forums. At what point does that patience be rewarded? It appeared to be 2012, it appeared to have turned the corner from the disasters of 1979 and 1995. Finally we would have diversity return to the sport. Now again the Owners vote to torpedo the sport. The best thing for the League would be to voice my displeasure, to the series, to the sponsors, to the team owners, shouting my displeasure from the social networks roof tops. Why is this the best option? Because the other option is one millions of fans have already chosen, simply and quietly stop following the sport. Make no mistake the owners vote was a vote for giant step backward and for a spec series going forward beyond 2012. 2013 is just another stall and delay tactic. And I am not sure it worth my trouble and disappointment anymore I can find something else to do on Sundays and other places to spend my money!!!

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  2. I honestly think the will of the fans will prevail in this matter. They can't afford for it not to.

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  3. Zac, as usual a great post....

    I have been thinking about the announcement of the owner's vote on the aero kits since last night. I think there is a lot more to this than meets the eye. The owners probably understand the financial situation of the all the teams better than anyone, could this be their attempt to let the league know the car count for next year may be significantly smaller due to the new upfront costs of new engines, new cars, aero kits and more expensive tires?? I don't know much about all the teams but a couple of the smaller ones have to be worried about all the new costs (it's not like they can get any money for old cars, there is no one to sell them to). I would even wonder if a big team like Andretti Auto sport can afford all the new stuff, especially if they lose their biggest sponsor (godaddy.com) if Danica moves fulltime to NASCAR.

    As a fan I would love to see different looking cars on the grid, but I want to see a healthy league more than anything. Full grids of sponsored cars with the best drivers available is more important to me.

    I don't understand the owners in one respect though, they finally have someone in Mr. Bernard who is working hard to make it better for everyone and I feel like they have put him in a no win position with this "vote". As smart a businessman as Mr. Penske is, you would think that he would understand the position they have put him in. Or maybe that is what they want, they don't want a strong leader, they want someone they can manipulate and maybe this is their first attempt to see what they can get away with or force him into.

    It will be interesting to watch to see how this plays out.

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  4. I very much agree with your viewpoint, Zach. Drivers should be allowed as much customization options as possible. That's what makes racing fun, in my opinion.

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  5. I'm not an owner but I don't want different aero kits either. The playing field has to be even for everyone. Racing is about competition between the racers, not the manufacturers.

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  6. This debate seems pointless, because at the end of the day, it's the men in suits who will decide the rules. I just hope they don't compromise fan satisfaction with their decision.

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