Power calls for radical shift in IndyCar’s horsepower-downforce ratio

Will Power has again suggested that the Verizon IndyCar Series should rethink its horsepower/downforce equation on short ovals, suggesting roadcourse power outputs combined with superspeedway wings.

Power calls for radical shift in IndyCar’s horsepower-downforce ratio
Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet
Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet
Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport Honda
Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet
Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

After qualifying second to Team Penske-Chevrolet teammate Helio Castroneves for tomorrow night’s Phoenix Grand Prix, Power said that keeping the throttle wide-open to set his 194mph lap around the one-mile oval was not enough of a challenge.

He said: “You know, we keep trying – well, I do – to tell the series we need less downforce. Give us road course horsepower and speedway wings. Let us leave dark marks on the exit of corners. Here, your corner speed is about the same as your bloody straight speed.

“I believe they should give us a formula similar to that, like give us a heap of horsepower, which we have potential for on the road course horsepower [set at 1.5-bar turbo boost as opposted to short ovals’ 1.4-bar), and then take a bunch of grip away. That would be really cool.”

Power suggested that the series didn’t need to go back to CART’s halcyon days of 900hp, believing IndyCar had the short-oval downforce level correct at Milwaukee with the Dallara DW12s, pre-aerokit era.

“What we ran from 2012 to '14 at Milwaukee, you're going down two gears in the corner. It wasn't really a full [throttle] lift, but it was a lift. You know, I won the race in '14 because I had better traction off the corner. So that was a pretty good level.

“You could hardly tell a difference from the year after in speed, watching, but we had a lot more downforce and no one passed anyone.

“So [revised downforce] definitely needs to come with a new tire as well. A softer tire, more forgiving, so slide more, even something that just degrades a bit.”

Power added that he felt the downforce/power/tire degradation ratio was still possible with the current aerokit-embellished IndyCars, and that IndyCar had got it right as recently as last summer.

“I thought Iowa last year was a great race. I felt they had it dead on.”

IndyCar has upped the downforce level for Phoenix since the test here in February, following complaints from certain drivers that without an increase, it would be too difficult to challenge the cars ahead.

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