IndyCar has confirmed that veteran drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Oriol Servia will perform testing duties for the Dallara universal aero kit to be used by all Verizon IndyCar Series teams starting in the 2018 season.
Testing of the universal kit, which will be fitted to the current Dallara IR-12 chassis used by all teams, begins July 25-26 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval. Subsequent tests will take place on the permanent road course at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the short oval at Iowa Speedway and a street course simulation circuit at Sebring International Raceway.
The two test cars will represent the engine manufacturers currently competing in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Team Penske will provide the Chevrolet-powered Dallara chassis to be driven by Montoya. Servia will drive a Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Dallara with a Honda engine.
“If we can help in any small measure to have a great product in 2018, I’ll be honored,” said Servia, who has raced Indy cars since 2000 and reached his milestone 200th career start at the 101st Indianapolis 500. “It’s great that IndyCar is doing it to make sure we have good racing. We want to help them accomplish what they want to accomplish.”
The 2018 universal aero kit marks the beginning of a new era. Dallara was named last month to manufacture the kit following a year-long process to establish the parameters for a sleeker, bolder bodywork kit whose look is inspired by past favorite chassis that competed in Indy car racing.
Chevrolet and Honda have been supplying aero kits to their contracted teams since 2015, but that will cease at the end of this season. The new universal kit is expected to be more cost-effective, with the intent to draw additional engine manufacturers to the Verizon IndyCar Series since they no longer need to supply aero kits as well.