The next race for the IZOD IndyCar Series is the 100th anniversary running of the Indianapolis 500.
It is May and it the greatest race in the world, but all eyes today were on the news for next season.
The team owners voted today to delay the use of the new aero kits until the 2013 season.
“The owners voted Saturday in Brazil that they didn’t want to do the new bodywork kits next year,’’ said IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard. “IndyCar’s position is that we want it for our fans and our manufacturers, but I guess we can’t make the owners do it."
While there will still be the three different engine manufacturers next season, all of the cars will still have the same look they have today.
The plan was for Dallara to build the tub with its own aero kit, then the three engine manufacturers (Honda, Chevrolet, and Lotus) would design personal aero kits, which would be sold for $75,000.
Now, it appears that the owners want to run the Dallara with whatever engine package they obtain.
Bernard said the vote was 15-0 (A.J. Foyt did not vote), and Roger Penske claimed it was not a power play on his part.
Mike Hull of Target/Ganassi Racing said he made an impassioned plea to the group: “I told them I think we’re making a big mistake here. I want bodywork kits. I don’t care what it takes because I’m tired of racing spec cars."
Bernard said he hasn’t made up his mind yet.
“I’ll listen to our owners, but I want more feedback. I’m not voting yea or nay until I talk to more people and think this through.’’
While this debate rages on over the coming weeks, it couldn't come at a worse time for the sport. The greatest race in the world is just a few weeks away, just as the series reaches the climax of the season.
Not only is the Indy 500 knocking at the door, but there are three other oval races after that, making this the most exciting time on the schedule for most fans.
We should be talking about the battle between Will Power and Dario Franchitti heading into Indianapolis. We should be talking about Helio trying to break his slumpy season with a record-tying fourth Indy 500 win.
We should be talking about the surprising seasons Oriol Servia and Mike Conway are having. Hell, even talking about Danica's last '500' race would be more fitting right now.
Instead, fans will be talking about the positives and negatives of this big decision over the coming weeks.
While Bernard has said that he hasn't made up his mind and wants to get the perspective of the fans on Facebook (really), he needs to get the appropriate people in a room and not come out until they reach a decision.
Opening up this can of worms right before the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" is not going to be good for the series.
Hopefully, the manufacturers will not be affected by the decision either way, and the fans and drivers can find a way to put this behind them...at least until after Memorial Day.