INDYCAR: Talks ongoing with other manufacturers

Critics of the current manufacturer-designed aero kits argued that they were a deterrent to new manufacturers because it required them to make substantial investments in an aero program as well as engine development. Jay Frye, IndyCar’s President of Competition and Operations, said that the wishes of potential third manufacturers were taken into account alongside those of current suppliers Chevrolet and Honda when the plan was being formulated.

“One of our targeted goals is to recruit another OEM to come into IndyCar,” he said.

“Our five-year plan; part of that was predicated on the wishes of OEMs or prospective OEMs, so what we think we’ve done by coming up with this five-year plan with the universal kit is, we’ve eliminated some hurdles for other OEMs to come in. Our two current partners, Chevrolet and Honda, are great, and they have completely signed off on this program. They’re participating in it. They’re going to be part of the testing program.

“But simultaneously we also ran these ideas by other OEMs that aren’t currently in the IndyCar Series because it would have not been very smart on our behalf to come up with this great five-year plan and then take it out to different OEMs and them be like, ‘we don’t want to do that, either.’


Does this five-year plan mean it’s imminent that somebody is coming in? No, but again, we’ve removed the hurdles, and he we think by having them part of the process, it’s created some enthusiasm.”

Although there is no new rival for Chevrolet and Honda on the immediate horizon, Frye said that conversations are ongoing.

“We’re talking to three or four at this point,” he said. “None of them have said no – to me that’s encouraging, and we’ll just keep working on this, and we’ll get the new car out. We’ll let everybody see what we’re doing, again, with them being part of this process.

“Then through this five-year plan, there’s a couple of natural opportunities for another OEM to come in. So we’re going to keep working on it.”

IndyCar returned to manufacturer competition with the arrival of the DW12 in 2012, when Chevrolet and Lotus stepped up to take on long-time sole supplier Honda, however Lotus withdrew after a single disastrous season.