Skip to main content

Car FYI Car of the Month for May 2015: James Hinchcliffe's Dallara-Honda IndyCar

Photo Credit: Chris Jones

The past few months have been a busy time. It has been my deepest regrets I fell behind on the Car FYI Car of the Month updates. One occupation of time has been the rapidly moving 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series. A tight season started in late March and ending in late August, the 16-race schedule quickly flooded towards the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 99th Indy 500. A race won by a brilliant performance by Juan-Pablo Montoya, the Team Penske organization secured its 16th win in the race.

However, up until the green flag flew for the Memorial Day weekend classic event, The majority of focus for the Month of May activities at the speedway was foreshadowed by a wicked Monday practice crash. The accident resulting in a broken right front suspension component on the #5 car fielded by Schmidt Peterson Motorsports sent James Hinchcliffe violently into a wall. Thankfully by no small effort of the Holmatro Safety Team, Hinchcliffe received prompt medical treatment that in many account saved the Canadian's life.

For May, the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara-Honda driven by James Hinchcliffe the Car FYI Car of the Month. The reasoning for it is capturing both strong positive and negative outcomes following the activities for the 2015 event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The positive side reflects on a skillfully built racing car. Under the Honda body kit (an addition for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar season) is a fourth-generation Dallara IR-12 chassis. First introduced to the IndyCar Series in 2012, the Dallara monocoque was developed as an advancement in open wheel racing vehicles. Through almost 100 runnings of the Indianapolis 500 at the 2.5-mile race track, speed proved to be a deadly adversary for drivers. 41 drivers have lost their lives in Indy-type vehicles at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. While safety was an afterthought until some exceptionally fatal accidents in the 1970s caused promoters and engineers to shift focus away from raw speed. The Dallara IR-12 chassis used for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar season has been developed through dummy-based crash testing in a manner like passenger cars. Dealing with potentially more extreme speed and performance than found on the street, the car in concert with driver protection features such as a helmet and HANS device has greatly improved the chances of survivability in open wheel racing.

As a downside to the May 2015 Car of the Month recipient is some teething problems with the all-new body panels issued by both Honda and competitor Chevrolet. The first year of what was a long-promised adaptation of unique bodywork on the Dallara chassis, the 2015 Indy 500 premiered the oval/superspeedway configuration of new aerodynamic packages. The body kit packages produced by Honda and Chevrolet both garnered unappealing headlines over the month of May activities on the Brickyard oval. After several IndyCar crashes where cars went airborne at some point, the series zeal for near record-breaking track speeds appeared risky. After Ed Carpenter's practice crash just ahead of Saturday qualifying, teams were regulated to abandon a qualifying-only aerodynamics package. James Hinchcliffe's crash occurred in race day prep but still involved wheels leaving the ground. Despite concerns, the Indy 500 race was a safe event with the Chevrolet/Honda body kits combined with the Dallara chassis providing an competitive, entertaining spectacle.  


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Will NASCAR's Next Gen Car Development Avoid Mistakes Made With CoT?

  Photo Credit: James Gilbert/Getty Images untitled On Wednesday of this week (May 5 th of 2021), NASCAR will formally present the sport’s newest Cup Series chariot. Originally called the Gen 7 car before adopting the moniker of the Next Gen car, the vehicle was initially planned to be part of the 2021 racing season but was pushed to 2022 due to the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 disrupting development as well as team finances to implement the Next Gen car. From the details already leaked about the Next Gen car, the 2022 Cup season is destined to deliver the biggest learning curve ever to drivers, team and fans. Ahead of the official unveiling of the car, indications of a new spec chassis, six-speed manual transmission, independent rear suspension as well as a larger diameter, single-lug wheels are radically going to reshape the operations of NASCAR Cup Series teams on and off the track. With anticipation building towards the planned on-track introduct

Morbid Motoring History: Transaxle of James Dean’s Porsche 550 Spyder Up For Auction

Photo Credit: Porsche AG untitled More than 65 years after James Dean’s fatal highway crash on U.S. Route 466, a verifiable piece has surfaced of the vehicle involved in the ill-fated Porsche 550 Spyder the 24-year-old actor drove in his last moments of life. Through an online auction being held on Bring A Trailer , buyers with a desire to obtain a rather ghoulish gearbox. The Porsche 550 Spyder was one of the first purpose-built race cars assembled to establish a name of what was once a small sports car located in Stuttgart, Germany. A derivative of Porsche’s 356 production car, the 550 Spyder’s compact, lightweight stature (the 550 was in reference to the vehicle’s weight in kilograms) combined with a mid-mounted 1,500 cc flat-four engine proved almost instantly superior in competition. Entering competition in 1953 by Porsche, the 550 Spyder cemented much of the early on-track success for the brand including a class victory at the 1953 24 Hours of Le Mans. A total of 90

2021 IndyCar Series Preview: Drivers and Teams Chart

Photo Credit: Chris Owens/IndyCar 2021 NTT IndyCar Series Drivers and Teams 2 Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske Chevrolet A two-time IndyCar champion, 30-year-old Tennessee driver Josef Newgarden enters his fifth season with Team Penske after a strong 2020 run. Newgarden is once-again considered a contender once more for the year's title. Winning a total of 18 IndyCar events since starting his career in the series in 2012, the pilot of the #2 Team Penske race car has keen sights on capturing this year's Indianapolis 500. 3 Scott McLaughlin New Zealand Team Penske Chevrolet After securing three consecutive driver titles in the Supercars Championship in a Ford Mustang co-owned by Roger Penske, Scott McLaughlin has been promoted to run his full first season in the NTT IndyCar Series competition with the prestigious group. Though he sp