Event Coverage: 2019 Indianapolis 500
Weather Radar
One of the stories that thankfully became a non-starter was rain. Early in the weekend, there were real questions about whether or not there would even be a race on Sunday. The forecasts improved and on Sunday, there was a sprinkle around 6am, but nothing throughout the day. Somehow, all of the storms, seen here about two hours before the green flag, just barely missed the Speedway and the entire race ran with no precipitation in sight.
Felix Rosenqvist
It’s always pretty entertaining to check out the cars in the pits or garage and see how crazy the setups are for oval racing. In this case Felix Rosenqvist’s car is sitting unloaded but you can see how the left rear wheel is positively cambered to the tire lays flat in the corner. You can also see how the right rear upper control arm mounts are much lower on the transmission to increase the camber gain. You can also see the tunnels and how the floor is contoured to help control tire wake by squirting some high pressure air to the inside of the tire, preventing that tire wake from disrupting the diffuser’s airflow. At least I think that’s what it does, my aero knowledge is a bit mediocre. It also looks like the right side of the diffuser is hung lower than the left, though that may be the angle the photo was taken.
Jack Harvey Wings
One of the complaints about the 2018 Indy 500 was that due to the high heat, there wasn’t enough downforce available for the teams to add and the cars all ran very loose. To combat this, IndyCar added some new add-on flaps for the front wing and a Gurney flap on the rear wing. These additions can be seen on Jack Harvey’s spare wings. In his case, the MSR team ran a mix of the add-ons. On the right side of the car (left of this image), Harvey and his team opted to add the inner flap, but on the left side of the car, they are using the extra Gurney flap. Teams all ran different combos throughout practice to find the perfect balance. Few cars ran the rear wing Gurney, but Harvey must have liked it.
Spencer Pigot Warmup
We were able to grab a nice shot Spenecer Pigot’s car warming up. You can get a good idea of the current IndyCar packaging, including where the air intakes for the engine sit. With the overhead airbox gone, IndyCar takes air from the sidepods, just inside the radiators. In this case, the right side doesn’t house a water radiator, but instead a multi-piece oil cooler. It looks like this combined heat exchanger has two sections, one for the engine oil, and another for the transaxle oil. Judging by the inlet and outlet, it looks like the engine oil cooler is a dual pass type.
Helio Castroneves
The only driver to have a shot at being a 4-time Indy 500 winner also had a mixed month. Helio Castroneves is usually a favorite, but this was the first year in a decade he wasn’t in the conversation for the win at all. I think this was the first year the Indy-only schedule really hurt his chances at a win. Helio’s was the only Penske car to start outside the Fast 9, and finish outside the top 5. To be clear, I don’t think Castroneves has lost any speed: he’s currently second in the IMSA DPi championship after all. But being out of an IndyCar for most of the season, and running with a team that only works on an IndyCar for four weeks out of the year, IS making it tougher to win a 4th Indy 500. When the field is as tight and competitive as it is, having that comfort in your car and team is the key to finishing first or 18th.


  1. Some interesting stuff going on with the compressor housing of the turbo…. looks like it has two outlets. Indycar running anti-lag these days?

  2. I don’t think anti-lag is allowed, but they may be using some other method of keeping the turbos spooled. Anti-lag wouldn’t really help at Indy anyway since they’re full throttle through the entire lap. Might be more to do with boost control, which is heavily restricted by IndyCar.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *