INDYCAR Editors’ Roundtable, Vol. 44: Power steering?

The question of the day : Almost every driver after their first drive of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES comments on the force needed to turn the wheel of these cars, which have no power steering, unlike almost every other major racing series in the world. Should NTT INDYCAR series cars have power steering?

Curt Cavin: It’s hard for me to answer that question because I’ve never driven an Indy car. Seems like I should support the lack of power steering, but is that a good idea? that a skill set that helps define a driver and showcase their talent? I am not sure.

Zach Horrall: No way ! The lack of power steering is what makes these cars such beasts, and I think what separates the NTT INDYCAR SERIES the most from other racing series. Sure, INDYCAR has a hugely varied program and the competition is second to none, but the lack of power steering is something few other racing series can say their cars have. That forces those pilots to be extremely conditioned athletes, and that means you really have some of the best pilots in the world. Whether the drivers come from NASCAR, F1 or elsewhere, the lack of power steering is what challenges them the most and what gives the NTT INDYCAR SERIES the most credibility as a true « driver » series. « .

Paul Kelly: No. Or maybe I can say it more clearly: not at all. As Zach said, the lack of power steering is arguably what earns these cars being called « beasts » by drivers. Why would anyone want to tame this power? I can only snicker when I hear sports talking heads and read ignorant social media threads claiming that racing drivers aren’t athletes. I challenge any of these fools to try and battle a very powerful, high brake force INDYCAR series car with no power steering on a bumpy street circuit on a hot August day , like this year in Nashville. Their arms would be limp noodles in both rounds, guaranteed. Just look at a photo of Jimmie Johnson in a polo shirt in his senior year in the NASCAR Cup Series, with his power-steering cars, and in his rookie season in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in 2021. His upper body was downright huge compared to 2020, and that’s because INDYCAR drivers have to be so strong to handle these mechanical animals.

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