IndyCar: Honda and Chevy dispute aero kit rule – Racer

Posted: Monday, August 24, 2015

The on-track battle right now in IndyCar racing is Honda’s Graham Rahal trying to steal the championship from Roger Penske, Chip Ganassi and Chevrolet. The off-track controversy that figures to get pretty nasty in the coming weeks is Honda’s plea to get help in the aero kit department and Chevy’s contention that it’s not necessary.

At the eye of the storm is rule 9.3, which allows IndyCar the right to allow a manufacturer some relief if it feels like it the gap between the two has a negative affect on competition.

“If IndyCar decides the performance kit of either manufacturer presents a detriment to the IndyCar brand it needs to be addressed and allow the manufacturer to modify the aero kits,” said Derrick Walker, IndyCar’s president of competition. “Honda has formally applied for a chance to modify its aero kit and Mark (Miles, president and CEO of Hulman & Company) is going to have to gather all the data and rule on it.”

The rules permit each manufacturer to make adjustments or improvements in three areas of the kit but Honda wants to go outside those parameters.

“We have requested for additional modifications under the 9.3 rule to address competition issues with our aero kit,” said Honda Performance Development president Art St. Cyr.

Asked if IndyCar’s decision would sway whether Honda returns in 2016 and beyond, St. Cyr replied: “We haven’t signed anything yet.”

Even though General Motors has dominated pole positions, laps led and the point standings for 2015, Rahal (ABOVE) only trails Juan Montoya by nine points heading into the penultimate round at Pocono today.

Chris Berube, program manager for Chevrolet Racing, says his group doesn’t see the competition as unbalanced.

“This is a competition, not a controlled exhibition and not a disaster either. Honda admitted it wasn’t ready at the start of the season and this rule is for a Lotus-style situation and that’s the not case,” said Berube referring to the severe underperformance of the Lotus engine in 2012.

“There was absolutely no discussion of the word parity when it came to aero kits. Honda is seeking an adjustment to seek parity. They’ve won three of the last four races. Looks pretty competitive to me.”

Miles says he hopes to have a decision by this Saturday.

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