Tomorrow is Decision Day.  The future of the IZOD Indy Car series may be at stake when the ICONIC committee selects the new chassis to be used in 2012 or 2013.  So many questions need to be answered.  Which chassis?  Multiple Manufacturers? Grandfathering the old Dallaras?  What about Firestone Indy Lights?

Apparently, NO ONE knows.  Randy Bernard, THE man of the IZOD Indy Car series, says that the final vote will be taken tomorrow morning.  So, no major leaks.  No, LeBron is going to Miami, but watch the 1 hour spectacle of narcissism anyway.

Here’s what I think, (OK….Hope), is going to happen.  The FIRST part of the announcement will be that the new IZOD Indy Car chassis will be either the Dallara (Red) or Lola.  Both companies are willing to build in Indiana and have history with Indy Car.  Both cars look great and –WOW-JUST READ THAT GRAHAM RAHAL IS COMING BACK TO NEWMAN HAAS!! Back to our story– offer some protection to the front and rear wheels which minimizes the chances of the horrible incident we saw at Indy with Mike Conway and Ryan Hunter-Reay.  I just can’t see the IZOD Indy Car series walking away from Dallara after all these years.  But Lola might just sneak in there.

Swift apparently will not relocate a significant amount of the production to Indiana, so they will fall by the wayside even though they are clearly the fan favorite. 

The BAT project has merit with the designers they have on board, but they are just too new.  Could they be up to speed and under production in 2012, let alone 2013?  Would love to see them build some Road to Indy type chassis in that ladder system, and let them move up.  I do think that opportunity will come within 5 years.

The Delta Wing makes alot of sense in its concepts, but it is just too radical looking.  And unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, that counts for something.  If Ben Bowlby and his group would just widen the front nose so that the front tire changers don’t knock themselves out during a quick pit stop, they may have something.

So, if you noticed in the announcement that I feel is coming that it was the FIRST part.  I would like to see the SECOND announcement be that the Firestone Indy Lights will use the Delta Wing Chassis.  Develop the car and the concepts in the FIL and let folks get used to seeing it.  If it performs, racing wise and monetarily, as folks think it will, people will be drawn to the car.  Use the same engine that is selected for the IZOD Indy Car series and restrict it either by turbo boost control or fuel flow.  Of course, if Lola is picked as the IZOD Indy Car chassis, that will probably eliminate this possibility since one chassis can be used for both series.

The THIRD announcement (really??) is that the new chassis will be used for a period of 3 to 5 years.  No more, no less.  This will give ALL of the chassis designers 3 to 5 more years to develop their concepts even further with respect to performance, safety, and reliability.  This 3 to 5 year period will also allow the world-wide discussion of the Global Racing Engine (GRE) to continue and grow.  The GRE is one of the most solid ideas I have ever heard of in the racing community.  To be able to use one basic engine design for F1, Indy Cars, ALMS, LeMans, Grand Am, etc….the possibilities are endless. 

IF the GRE becomes a reality, Indy Car needs to be in a position to pounce on the manufacturer gains that will surely come when the BIG automakers begin badging these engines.  A 3 to 5 year limit on the new technology to be announced tomorrow, should allow that to happen.

How much of this is going to happen?  Tune in tomorrow to www.indycar.com at 12:15 PM ET for what I know will be an amazing show.  Then let the debates begin!!

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