INDYCAR confirms new closure panels to super speedway aero kits (UPDATED)

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INDYCAR has now confirmed there will be a new “closure panels” to the rear wheel guards ahead of this weekend’s Firestone 600 Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Texas Motor Speedway.

A Twitter post from USA Today Sports’ Brant James said to expect a new aero part, described as a new “contraption,” coming to the cars this weekend.

That has now been confirmed. Here is the release from INDYCAR:

INDYCAR announced today it has implemented the use of closure panels to the rear wheel guards of both Honda and Chevrolet superspeedway aero kits beginning this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. The panels were developed by Honda and Chevrolet, respectively, and will also be utilized at Pocono Raceway and Auto Club Speedway during the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

“This has been a collaborative effort with both manufacturers and they have been working on these since the Indianapolis 500 qualifications,” said Will Phillips, IndyCar Vice President of Technology. “These closure panels serve as a blocker so air cannot flow through the rear wheel guards. This will ultimately raise the point at which cars would experience lift when traveling backwards.”

INDYCAR also confirmed that the rear wing angle for all entries this weekend must be set between (-6) and (-10.5) degrees, which will still result in an increase in overall downforce compared to the 2014 event at TMS.

Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage has release a statement as well.

“I think they have found an effective way to reduce and eliminate the lift that they had problems with in practice at Indianapolis,” Gossage said. “This is a logical approach to attacking this problem and hopefully we won’t see that here at Texas at all. I think this is a step in the right direction.”

Gossage also likes the the decision to adjust the rear-wing pitch.

“That will probably cause the cars to slow down just a little and I think that is a good move as well,” Gossage said. “That will also make the cars more drivable. We are pleased IndyCar is working on this. We don’t know what these changes will bring until the green flag drops, but IndyCar is trying and we appreciate that.”

INDYCAR president of competition and operations Derrick Walker said during the qualifying change press conference at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that IndyCar, in partnership with Chevrolet and Honda, would seek to make changes before the race at Texas.

“Well, we’ve already started and it will go as long as it takes to get the answers we need,” Walker said on May 17. “Both our manufacturers are working very closely with us. That’s one of the reassuring things of this whole exercise is how they’ve rallied around and put all their resources behind looking at how to understand it more, so I would see that continuing.”