Last summer, NBCSN’s Jan Beekhuis gave viewers a look inside Dallara’s Italian headquarters, which includes a state-of-the-art simulator used regularly by IndyCar Series teams.
But now, a second simulator is being constructed at the IndyCar chassis manufacturer’s outpost in Speedway, Indiana, a stone’s throw from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
According to the series, the American simulator will be fully operational by the end of April, just in time for the Indianapolis 500. However, it already has the reconfigured IMS road course – site for the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 10 – available for teams to test out potential set-ups for that race.
Per Dallara testing manager Alessandro Moroni, both the American and Italian simulators will be linked together, although newer technology will make the American one more powerful. The simulator figures to be primarily used for racing purposes, but Dallara hopes to use it for other means as well.
“Automotive and tire manufacturers – any kind of simulation,” Dallara USA CEO Stefano DePonti told IndyCar.com. “I also have in mind simulations with police departments for training, such as car chases.
“…You can test a new component with accuracy and less expense than real testing. You get aware by using the simulator; if I use it for this, maybe I can use it for this other aspect.”
Last May, a $1.15 million grant from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation was given to the motorsports engineering program at the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology inside Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis.
The school has a research partnership with Dallara, and through that grant, funding was found to create and operate the new simulator.