Originally written on motorsportsunplugged.com  |  Last updated 5/26/12

The Dallara DW12 in Speedway Configuration rear wing side-by-side with the Swift Engineering Concept 66 Mushroom Busting design and the similarities are striking. Image Credit: Various resources combined by Edmund Jenks (2012)

Dallara DW12 Speedway Aero Takes A Nod From Swift Engineering

The major difference with the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500 … the Greatest Spectacle in Racing … and virtually all previous editions of the race is the racing platform technology.

Most people who have been following American open wheel racing since the beginning know the trials and tribulations with the separation and unification of the series but few really have a handle on as to why this year will be different than any other year.

The IZOD IndyCar Series has adopted a new chassis that handles the flow of air much differently than chassis of previous years and this change lays mainly in the concept of managing the airflow vortex that is created by the car and what happens to the flow of air after it leaves the back end or rear wing of the open wheel chassis. The car punches a change of the nature of the air … or hole in the air and this allows a car that is following to pass through the same space more easily, with less drag. Some have come to term this effect as “Tow” but what is really happening is that the new design manages the flow of the air to allow for the vortex “mushroom” to be busted. An aerodynamic design feature first pioneered by Swift Engineering and put into play by some very enterprising aerodynamic engineers at Dallara for the Speedway Configuration of the DW12 chassis.

Bryan Herta Autosport’s Alex Tagliani had the following observation as to this “Mushroom Busting” effect upon the trailing car, a car following a lead driver:

“You can really see it. If you make the corners flat (out), and being within three car-lengths, you’ll get sucked in,” explains Alex Tagliani, who’s understandably bullish about his chances having both a Honda and running with defending champion team Bryan Herta Autosport. “If your car isn’t as good, and you’re maybe four lengths back, you’ll still be able to suck in three, but you’ll just getting right on their back.”

This is where the timing element comes into play. “Getting closer, you get more disturbed, and if you lift, you become a sitting duck,” he says. “The timing of the draft is very important, but you also have to stay within the appropriate distance to pick up the tow and get by the guy.”
(quote ht: Racer.com)

The following was first published on 4/16/2010 and updated on 6/10/2010 by Edmund Jenks after a visit and tour of the Swift Engineering creation and production facility located in San Clemente, California:

Swift Engineering’s 2012 IZOD IndyCar design concept 66 CAD image with California Speedway background. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2010)

Surprise Swift Tour Yields A Look At “Concept 66″ Platform
(originally posted 4/16/10 – 1:28 PM)

If the folks at the IZOD IndyCar Series are thinking with a level head, given what we, at The EDJE, were exposed to at a surprise tour of the Swift Engineering facility in San Clemente, they will soon be singing “We get our kicks settling on Concept 66″ as their way of the future of open-wheel racing.

Swift Engineering Inc. – Design Concept 66 – Mushroom Buster Video

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