Dallara picked for new IndyCar chassis

This is the Dallara design.

Rich Van Wyk/Eyewitness News

Speedway - Dallara will provide the IndyCar of the future. IndyCar officials made the announcement Wednesday that Dallara will be the manufacturer for the 2012 IndyCar Series.

Cars will feature a rolling chassis with an enhanced safety cell, and manufacturers will be able to be dress the cars in multiple ways.

IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said the cars will be ready to go in 18 months.

Dallara also created the current chassis, which has been used since 2003. Five companies bid on the chassis.

Even compared to the greatest spectacle in racing, the revelation of a new IRL race car was high drama.

About half the price of existing cars, the new Dallara chassis is expected to bring new teams to the Indianapolis Racing League, increase competition, innovation, and interest in the Indianapolis 500.

The chassis will cost $349,000, with a complete car costing $385,000. It is a 45 percent price decrease from the current formula.

Governor and pitch man Mitch Daniels was there for the announcement.

"As they say in the infomercials, it gets better," he said.

The Italian company will build a new manufacturing and engineering center just outside the track, on Main Street in Speedway. It promises to buy half its parts from Indiana suppliers and help Indiana's universities develop a new breed of motor sports engineers.

"This industry is coming home to the state where it was born," said Daniels.

A hundred years ago, Indianapolis was a capitol of automotive manufacturing and innovation. The winner of the first Indianapolis 500 used the very first rear view mirror. The Dusenberg that won the 1922 Indy 500 was built a few miles from the track.

About 8,000 people work for motor sports companies in central Indiana. Although Dallara is expected employ about 100, it should create many more.

Speedway leaders visited the company's headquarters and saw within walking distance component suppliers. It was a buzzing epicenter of technology," said Scott Harris, executive director of Speedway Redevelopment Commission.

Technology is driving both the racing industry and a race for jobs.