Honda reveals its IndyCar aero kit (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

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At long last, Honda Performance Development has taken the wraps off its manufacturer aero kit for the Verizon IndyCar Series and revealed it to the world Monday night. Chevrolet revealed its road course/short oval version at IndyCar media day in Indianapolis last month.

Here’s the first image from HPD, along with images of Ryan Hunter-Reay’s car in livery:

And here’s the video:

Here’s the release itself:

Honda today debuted the package of aerodynamic upgrades and components its teams will use in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series, as the manufacturer seeks to add to an already impressive list of accomplishments in American open-wheel racing.

The 2015 Honda Indy car “aero kit”, produced by Honda Performance Development, Honda’s racing arm in North America, includes nearly 200 individual pieces that can be fitted to the existing Honda-powered Dallara Indy car chassis. All are intended to give Honda’s six IndyCar Series teams the ability to maximize performance at each of the 15 circuits that make up the 2015 championship schedule.

“We’re excited to reveal our aero kits as Honda welcomes this era of enhanced competition in the Verizon IndyCar Series,” said Art St. Cyr, president of HPD and vice president, auto operations, for American Honda. “Coupled to our proven Honda Indy V6 engines, these aero kits are the products of literally thousands of hours of research, development and testing, as we seek to give our drivers and teams the tools they need to win races, the Indianapolis 500 and the IndyCar Series championship.”

Following in the proven path of the successful Honda-powered prototype sports racers – winners of 74 American Le Mans Series, TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and World Endurance Championship races and multiple titles since 2007 – the Honda Indy car aero kits were developed by utilizing the latest in Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) technology.

Concepts for the Honda aero kit were validated using Driver-In-Loop (DIL) Simulators, minimizing waste at the prototype stage and allowing aerodynamic direction to be determined prior to the creation of full-size components.

Components were then tested in a full-scale wind tunnel to confirm actual aerodynamic performance characteristics, and create aero maps to be used during on-track testing. Final proof-of-concept correlation then took place in a series of on-track tests, totaling six days at various circuits, conducted by HPD with the assistance of the Honda-powered Andretti Autosport team.

The complete kit provides Honda drivers and teams with a significant range of available configurations to tune the cars to their desired characteristics and provide additional visual variety to engage fans at all IndyCar Series circuits.

In addition to improving performance, aerodynamic safety was a primary consideration in aero kit development. Working with INDYCAR, Honda has a well-established record of utilizing its development resources to produce a safer racing environment, including the design and development of the fuel safety interlock system, now standard on all Indy cars, and more recently the 2015 chassis floor and other future safety developments to be fitted to the Dallara chassis.

“We’ve been encouraged by the performance of the new Honda aero kits in testing, but of course the end goal is to win races, the Indy 500 and the championship,” said St. Cyr. “We believe we have a superior aerodynamic and engine package. We’re looking forward to the start of the 2015 season on the streets of St. Petersburg, and taking on the battle for the Manufacturers’ Championship.”

Honda’s Indy car aero kits will make their public debut next week at the Verizon IndyCar Series “Open Test”, March 16-17 at Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham, Alabama. The 2015 season opens March 29 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Florida.

And here were pictures of the buildup, following the tease it did last week.

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

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Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.