Tis the night before Christmas for sixteen IZOD IndyCar drivers, as Santa makes an early delivery of new Dallara rolling chassis’ which will sit nicely wrapped before being unleashed upon testing in mid-January 2012.
The second batch will be delivered to teams on January 16, which will hit the track for testing almost immediately prior to the season-opening Grand Prix of St Petersburg on March 25.
Also receiving something new for Christmas will be Dallara itself. The first new batch of cars are being shipped from their base in Parma, Italy, before the manufacturer moves into their new 112,000-square-foot headquarters on Main Street, Indianapolis in January for the production and delivery of the aerodynamic updates. These are being made locally to ensure teams receive them quickly. The chassis itself will continue to be built in Italy for now.
Dallara USA CEO and General Manager Sefano dePonti says the challenges associated with setting up its new facility have been trying, but rewarding.
“It is a step-by-step process to get up to speed with the composite shop, with all the equipment coming and then we need to put in place the extra people we hire. When Italy decides we can walk with our own legs, we can start to do more things here.
“If I go back to March I could say I don’t know how we were really able to do it. It was almost a miracle. From the outside, the perception is different. From inside, I think it’s been a good process. We’re grateful for the support we’ve had and proud of what we’ve done so far,” dePonti added.
[Article text by Matt Lennon; image via IZOD IndyCar Media]