IndyCar has confirmed that manufacturer-specific aero kits will be phased out at the end of next season.
However, the move has seen the gap between Chevrolet and Honda increase.
Now a freeze has been placed on aero kit development for next year, while a new, common, aerokit will be introduced for the 2018 season. The move is said to be to encourage more manufacturers to join the series as they will only need to develop an engine, and not their own unique bodywork as well.
"One of our biggest goals we stated numerous times, is about getting another engine partner to come in," IndyCar president of competition Jay Frye told RACER. "The model, the way it currently sits, it would have been very hard to recruit another manufacturer to come into the sport because developing a custom aero kit package is a pretty big hurdle to overcome."
"Part of our process in coming to this decision has been from vetting this idea with other manufacturers that we have talked to. Ultimately, we want to be able to grow the sport through another engine partner coming in."
The new aero kit will be developed throughout next season after the series has solicited bids from manufacturers, and it is thought that the new bodywork could alter the appearance of the polarising Dallara DW12 dramatically.
"Will it look drastically different than the current car? Yes," said Frye. "Performance wise, we have goals we want to obtain, but can that be done while changing the look of the cars in this exercise? Yes."
"We got more of a clean sheet approach for 2018, where there are many people currently involved to come up with what that solution will look like, and we are confident it's going to be a really good looking car. It will be simpler, and cleaner looking than the current car."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing
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