What's Next for the Indy Racing League
The hideous, ungainly Dallara chassis and the loud and abrasive Honda V-8 will be phased out after the 2010 season. Although new rules haven't been announced, look for more handsome - and more versatile - chassis and smaller turbocharged engines in 2011.
Why: Reunification with Champ Car means the new chassis has to work on road courses and street circuits along with the ovals for which the current IRL car was designed. Turbos will allow the development of smaller, more fuel-efficient engines that - it's hoped - will attract manufacturers other than Honda, the sole supplier since 2006.
What's Next for Formula 1
Next year, F1 cars will feature slick tires and smaller wings, with fewer aerodynamic aids. But the big news is KERS, or Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems, similar in concept to a hybrid's regenerative braking. In 2011, expect to see smaller engines as well as wings and turbo boost that can be adjusted on the track.
Why: Slicks and reduced downforce are designed to increase overtaking. KERS, meanwhile, is meant to promote a greener image and make F1 more relevant to manufacturers, who could apply this technology to road cars.
What's Next for Le Mans
For 2009, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest chose to limit the power of diesel engines, reduce the speed of LMP2 cars, and allow hybrids to compete, although not for points. Two years down the road, Le Mans should feature smaller LMP1 engines, quieter exhausts, and kinetic energy recovery.
Why: Diesels are being handicapped, so gasoline-powered cars will once again have a legitimate shot to win overall at Le Mans. At the same time, the ACO - unlike the American Le Mans Series - doesn't want LMP2 cars competing for overall victories. The 2011 regulations represent the realization that racing can't survive without at least paying lip service to environmental concerns.