Fans at IMS approve of new IndyCar design
Fans at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway had a generally positive opinion after they had their first up-close look at this year's new IndyCar design.
"I think it looks something like the Batmobile," said one fan.
"I like the fact that it is so much different from what we've seen," said another.
The new car is certainly a different design, one fan described it as "pretty sporting looking."
The most notable difference in the new car is the additional body molding that extends up to and almost around the rear wheels.
One fan said it is still open wheel racing, "The front of it is still open wheel, I mean the back is still a little bit different looking."
The designers added that molding to keep wheel-to-wheel contact to a minimum after a wheel-to-wheel contact-type accident claimed the life of two-time Indy 500 champion Dan Wheldon during the last race of the 2011 season in Las Vegas.
The new cars also seem to stick to the track better. During the first weekend of practice, not a single car even so much as brushed the wall. The cars also have new engines, from three different manufacturers, all with three unique sounds.
"It is noticeably quieter," said one fan.
In years past, ear protection was a hot commodity at the track. But not so much this year.
"I like it's a little bit better that it is quieter," said another fan. "Definitely quieter and more enjoyable. You can talk to people a little bit better."
That could mean a quieter race, maybe with conversations - a sure sign things at the track are changing.
The weather should be great today if you want to head out to the track and see and hear the new cars for yourself.
Gates are open from 10:00 this morning until 6:00 tonight. Driver practice starts at noon, with tickets $10 at the gate, and kids 12 and under get in free.
Expect the speeds to climb through the week, culminating with Fast Friday and Saturday's run for the pole.