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INDYCAR reveals initial 2018 aero kit concept drawings

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The formal 2018 spec aero kit for INDYCAR will be revealed at a later date, but today at the North American International Auto Show marks the debut of the potential of what the new vision of the kits could well look like.

It’s the second and arguably bigger piece of news on the day, following INDYCAR’s confirmation this morning it has agreed to a three-year extension with Dallara through 2020.

INDYCAR’s release is below, with more comments from INDYCAR President of Competition and Operations, Jay Frye, to follow later Thursday.

As INDYCAR works toward a universal aerodynamic bodywork kit for all Verizon IndyCar Series cars in 2018, the development process is well under way.

Jay Frye, INDYCAR president of competition and operations, unveiled a series of initial concept drawings for how the car might look during a media roundtable at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).

Without revealing specific details to how the cars and their accompanying aerodynamic bodywork will look when they hit the track for the 2018 season, Frye offered the first visual peek into the future at INDYCAR’s NAIAS exhibit in the Motor City.

The drawings were completed months ago, but they give the first concept designs that will cover the Dallara IR-12 chassis. The images revealed will not be what the cars wind up looking like in 2018, but they provided the first public direction of the process.

INDYCAR will share more details of the development process in coming weeks, including another public update following the 2017 preseason’s open test Feb. 10-11 at Phoenix International Raceway. The goal is to have a car built for display at the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil in May, with on-track testing in the summer.

INDYCAR previously announced a development freeze for the upcoming season, which means teams will use the aero kits offered by Chevrolet and Honda for the 17 races. The season opens two months from today, March 12, with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Rinus VeeKay to drive for Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020

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Ed Carpenter Racing has signed 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay to drive the full 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season, the team announced Wednesday.

VeeKay will drive the No. 21 Chevrolet previously occupied by Spencer Pigot.

“I’m so happy!” the 19-year-old driver from the Netherlands said in a press release. “It’s a dream come true and something we have worked extremely hard for over the last couple of years. To step up from USF2000 to the NTT IndyCar Series in three years is really special.”

In his maiden Indy Lights season this year, VeeKay collected six race victories and seven pole potions. VeeKay previously won the 2018 Indy Pro 2000 championship, and finished second in the 2017 USF2000 standings.

VeeKay’s success in the ladder series caught the attention of Carpenter, who gave VeeKay the opportunity to first test for the team at Portland International Raceway in August.

“I have been following Rinus’s path through the Road to Indy, especially the past two years,” Carpenter said. “It was clear to me that he deserves to be in an Indy car. After his first day in a car at Portland this past season, that feeling became even more apparent. His pace, feedback and demeanor inside the car was very impressive for such a young driver.”

As a driver, Carpenter will be VeeKay’s teammate during the five oval races in 2020, once again returning to the team’s No. 20 entry. An announcement on which driver will pilot the No. 20 on the road and street circuits will be made at a later time.

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