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Old 20 Nov 2009, 15:06 (Ref:2585859)   #1
Tim Northcutt
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Interesting Item on New Chassis in Indy Star (Merged)

Check out this bit of news...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


http://www.indystar.com/article/2009...ylvania-tunnel

Apparently the radical chassis design is from Ben Bowlby, formerly Lola's chief designer and now part of Ganassi. It looks like a cross between a sports car and a motorcycle and is sleek and new age.

Ganassi, Michael Andretti, and Tony George at least are all pushing for this design.

Dallara is the other chassis being considered and would be an evolution of the existing design.

Here's some interesting stuff thoughts from Bowlby in Racecar Engineering about what he'd want a new car to be. Sounds like it'd be lightweight, fuel efficient, and with many areas on the car to tweak.

http://www.racecar-engineering.com/a...polis-500.html

Last edited by Tim Northcutt; 20 Nov 2009 at 15:11.
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Old 20 Nov 2009, 19:45 (Ref:2586010)   #2
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I read all this last night, and it left me feeling a little duped.

Ganassi and Penske get TEAM money, right? They both have enough money to pay engineering staffs and finance research facilities to maintain 7 year old spec cars, while hundreds of mechanics are out of work because the little teams can't afford to race.

So Bowlby is making six figures on a team that has an eight figure annual operating budget, and he wants to get paid by IRL to draw a concept car. Oh, OK. And a Series that is afraid to introduce any regulation changes because of the economic impact is instead going to do a total redesign, requiring a complete refitting by all teams and rendering their existing investment obsolete. Yeah, I get that too.

In the meantime, fans get most of their news from one guy who writes whatever the key players tell him to write. No wonder it's hard to figure out what is going on with IndyCar.

On one hand, we might not be watching 20 old tubs racing run their first race of the season because the funding couldn't be generated. On the other, there will be a fleet of shiny new lunar rovers on the grid in two years.

I suppose the truth lies somewhere in between the two extremes. Or there isn't any truth coming from these people at all.

Last edited by JagtechOhio; 20 Nov 2009 at 20:00.
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Old 20 Nov 2009, 19:58 (Ref:2586014)   #3
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TEAM Money replaced paying out purses so that the smaller teams would get a more consistent cut for racing.
Little fish got about $30,000 for racing in the back under the old system.

Now they get an average of about $65,000 a race, not including the 500.

A typical winner's purse was somewhere between $110,000 and $150,000 per race (excluding Indy) prior to TEAM, so just with their wins, not to mention higher placed finishes, how much more do you think they would have gotten than their $1.2 million as part of TEAM?

I say if the IRL is intersted, they should commission a design and put some money where there mouth is...

Why should Ganassi do it for free if there is no commitment to interest via cash from the IRL in the potential chassis design?
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Old 20 Nov 2009, 20:04 (Ref:2586019)   #4
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Oh, thanks. It all makes perfect sense now.
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Old 20 Nov 2009, 21:17 (Ref:2586047)   #5
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Why should Ganassi do it for free if there is no commitment to interest via cash from the IRL in the potential chassis design?
I don't know if ganassi would be the main money man behind that because there are others that rent that laurel hill tunnel out and those that do like to keep quiet about it. So there is probably more to the story than what is written.
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Old 20 Nov 2009, 21:23 (Ref:2586050)   #6
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Originally Posted by Tim Northcutt View Post
TEAM Money replaced paying out purses so that the smaller teams would get a more consistent cut for racing.
Little fish got about $30,000 for racing in the back under the old system.

Now they get an average of about $65,000 a race, not including the 500.

A typical winner's purse was somewhere between $110,000 and $150,000 per race (excluding Indy) prior to TEAM, so just with their wins, not to mention higher placed finishes, how much more do you think they would have gotten than their $1.2 million as part of TEAM?

I say if the IRL is intersted, they should commission a design and put some money where there mouth is...

Why should Ganassi do it for free if there is no commitment to interest via cash from the IRL in the potential chassis design?
Like the old champcar and CART programs all the TEAM program does is reward mediocrity.

It might be going bye bye anyways:

http://www.ibj.com/the-score/2009/11...AMS/post/11252

Sounds like Belskus is a hatchet man getting the company lean and mean ready for sale.
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Old 20 Nov 2009, 21:29 (Ref:2586053)   #7
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Like the old champcar and CART programs all the TEAM program does is reward mediocrity.

It might be going bye bye anyways:

http://www.ibj.com/the-score/2009/11...AMS/post/11252

Sounds like Belskus is a hatchet man getting the company lean and mean ready for sale.
They're outsourcing jobs that were in-house for years and frankly, bloated the staff.

Schoettle is blowing smoke rings out his butt on some of the other stuff, like dumping the Brickyard 400...even with 170,000 people in the stands (last year's attendance), they still made money off of it.

While you're at it, care to comment on the IZOD Title Sponsorship, which is a 6-year deal worth between $10-15 million per year with an option to extend two years?

I noticed you've been kinda quiet on that one...
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Old 20 Nov 2009, 22:25 (Ref:2586078)   #8
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I didn't say anything about Ganassi paying to design a new car.

If this Bowlby dude is an ex-Lola designer on Ganassi's payroll, he's a rich guy with not much to do and access to tools to design whatever he wants. So he can pull a Bill Gates, build some three wheeler in his boss' tunnel and sell it to IRL. He can also get Curt Cavin to write "news" about him if he needs to attract investors.

How a new V6 turbo is going to fit in a three wheeler is his problem.

Izod sells clothes, not IndyCars. They spent a ton of money last year on advertising and "activations", a whole lot more than anyone ever heard of or paid attention to. So next year they will spend a few million more, and throw some chump change at the teams on top of that. That will sell a lot more rags and attract a few more fans.

If they were putting a large amount of their investment towards the ICS, Reay would already have a new seat poured. They're clothiers with a large marketing budget, period. It they don't see big ROI they'll walk post haste.
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Old 20 Nov 2009, 22:29 (Ref:2586086)   #9
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They're outsourcing jobs that were in-house for years and frankly, bloated the staff.

Schoettle is blowing smoke rings out his butt on some of the other stuff, like dumping the Brickyard 400...even with 170,000 people in the stands (last year's attendance), they still made money off of it.

While you're at it, care to comment on the IZOD Title Sponsorship, which is a 6-year deal worth between $10-15 million per year with an option to extend two years?

I noticed you've been kinda quiet on that one...
No haven't devoted much time lately to writing as I've been busy elsewhere.

I think it's great for them if they have that deal in place and the money comes in. How much will actually make it to the teams and make a different to them I suspect not a lot.

Most of it also is around $6-$7 million of tv commercials of which I'm sure goes to Versus or ABC and not to the irl themselves.

Of all I have seen and heard it sounds like big numbers but most of it when you break it down is fluff that I don't see as making a big $$ to most involved.

In regards to the job cuts and other events at the speedway, I'm sure for one thing there was a lot of dead weight and tony george frumpies hanging about so hopefully they keep the shop vac running to clean all that out.

I was always surprised when they built the F1 track they didn't set it up so it could be used on a daily basis for track days, schools, manufacturer events, testing, club days, etc. Seems like they are leaving potential daily revenue on the table, especially considering all the people they employ to run the place.

I never bought into the "aura" of the track that it needs only be used for the 500. It's an old track with history but no reason why you can't maximize the use of the place.
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Old 20 Nov 2009, 22:43 (Ref:2586092)   #10
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I didn't say anything about Ganassi paying to design a new car.

If this Bowlby dude is an ex-Lola designer on Ganassi's payroll, he's a rich guy with not much to do and access to tools to design whatever he wants. So he can pull a Bill Gates, build some three wheeler in his boss' tunnel and sell it to IRL. He can also get Curt Cavin to write "news" about him if he needs to attract investors.

How a new V6 turbo is going to fit in a three wheeler is his problem.

Izod sells clothes, not IndyCars. They spent a ton of money last year on advertising and "activations", a whole lot more than anyone ever heard of or paid attention to. So next year they will spend a few million more, and throw some chump change at the teams on top of that. That will sell a lot more rags and attract a few more fans.

If they were putting a large amount of their investment towards the ICS, Reay would already have a new seat poured. They're clothiers with a large marketing budget, period. It they don't see big ROI they'll walk post haste.
Unfortunately my connection moved onto other employment otherwise I'd really know what was going on there in the tunnel and at ganassi. Sounds like a silly concept to me.

Usually the more outrageous the rumors get the worse shape a particular business is in.

You can bet there are out clauses in that izod contract and apparently there are.

Ultimately I think it does about zero to attract new fans. Izod is not exactly the most popular clothing line out there and I doubt someone is going to buy an izod shirt and suddenly become an indy fan.

If the product is crap, which IMO it is, putting indycar logos on izod shirts is not going to develop a whole new fanbase. It's nice if you are out there "activating" your sponsorship but only if you have people to activate to.
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Old 21 Nov 2009, 00:29 (Ref:2586149)   #11
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The new line is cool, I'd call it "preppy grunge". They will sell a lot of shirts to 15-25 year old men, most of whom will buy a cool looking shirt and not pay attention along with their $30.

Izod has out clauses, and will not announce the total investment. Teams are getting like $100K each on the dole, I'll call that $2M. Reay probably didn't get more than $2M or he'd have a seat.

What surprised me about the announcement was the video they showed of all the Macy's personal appearances they had staged last year. None of that came up on searches I had previously done, other than the Indy splash in NYC.

So they already made a "big spend" on promotions, and maybe they sold clothes but they didn't sell much IndyCar. Next year they'll spend a few million more on ad buys, that's about it. The commercials won't get past Versus and other Comcast networks, and ABC. And with the adversarial attitude that ESPN and Versus have, the ABC spots will probably end when their part of the 2010 IndyCar schedule does. Comcast/ NBCU won't be approved until 2011, even if it does happen.

So any rose colored tint was exagerrated, and was immediately followed with all the news about the cutbacks at IMS and IRL, and the Marlboro contractions. None of the other key issues have gotten more than lip service, and the reporting of developments is all being spoon fed to the public via Curt's Shilling.

Blink.
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Old 22 Nov 2009, 00:35 (Ref:2586730)   #12
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Originally Posted by Tim Northcutt View Post
Check out this bit of news...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


http://www.indystar.com/article/2009...ylvania-tunnel

Apparently the radical chassis design is from Ben Bowlby, formerly Lola's chief designer and now part of Ganassi. It looks like a cross between a sports car and a motorcycle and is sleek and new age.

Ganassi, Michael Andretti, and Tony George at least are all pushing for this design.

Dallara is the other chassis being considered and would be an evolution of the existing design.

Here's some interesting stuff thoughts from Bowlby in Racecar Engineering about what he'd want a new car to be. Sounds like it'd be lightweight, fuel efficient, and with many areas on the car to tweak.

http://www.racecar-engineering.com/a...polis-500.html
I've read elsewhere about Bowlby's ideas, particularly about drag/fuel efficiency and current aerodynamic thinking. I'd like to see what this new car looks like.

As for Dallara, I saw some prospective pics of a Dallara with a turbo engine in it and it looked very much like the current car without an air box; rather Reynardesque.
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Old 22 Nov 2009, 01:10 (Ref:2586738)   #13
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I saw some prospective pics of a Dallara with a turbo engine in it and it looked very much like the current car without an air box; rather Reynardesque.
By air box you mean the body piece above the engine and behind the roll hoop? It should be compulsory in every formula car. When a car flips and lands, it protects the driver's head much better that a thin roll hoop.
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Old 22 Nov 2009, 01:37 (Ref:2586746)   #14
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That's the air box and helps force air in to the cars cylinders. It's removable and allows access to the engine, particularly the spark plugs and rocker covers. The roll hoop's compulsory but there's no air box mounted above the engine on an F3 car, it's at the left hand side.

Indy Cars during the CART era needed no air box as engine aspiration is provided by the turbo charger. In F1 they were banned from 1975 to 1989, partly because they got too big and dangerous if there was a crash and in the early 80s because of the turbo era, they were not needed.
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Old 22 Nov 2009, 01:54 (Ref:2586750)   #15
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That's it, I thought so. Thanks for the explanation.
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