First IndyCar 2.4-liter test to be held on Indy road course
When it was revealed early in March that the 2.4-liter’s race debut had been delayed until 2024, IndyCar stated its intention that the first test of the engines would be held March 30-31 on the Sebring International Raceway’s short course.
However, since around 20 cars are expected for a group test at Indy on those dates, it made financial and logistical sense to run the 2.4-liter cars at the same venue, but earlier in the week.
Thus the joint private test for Chevrolet and Honda will be held on Monday-Tuesday, March 28-29, on the 14-turn 2.439-mile track that utilizes parts of Turns 1 and 2 of the iconic Speedway, as well as the majority of the front straight, albeit in the opposite direction to the oval.
Team Penske will run the Chevy-powered 2.4 car while Chip Ganassi Racing will operate the Honda 2.4. Neither engine will utilize the hybrid component, but will instead use an alternator converted from the current-spec 2.2-liter engines.
Switching up to 2.4-liter engines is set to send IndyCar power output to 800hp, with the hybrid system expected to add a further 100hp.
Honda Performance Development and Chevrolet-Ilmor were originally working to a deadline of having 2.4-liter engines ready to race from the start of the 2023 season, but supply-chain problems for Mahle, the German company building the spec hybrid components, meant the sensible solution for IndyCar was to push back the introduction of its next-era engines by 12 months.
Consequently, the 2.2-liter era will be continuing for a 12th year.
In the 10 complete seasons of this era, Chevrolet-powered drivers have won six IndyCar championships, although Honda drivers have won the last two. Chip Ganassi Racing has won five titles – four with Honda, one with Chevrolet – while Team Penske has won its four titles with Chevy, and Andretti Autosport also scored its sole turbocharged IndyCar title while wearing the Bowtie.
In terms of Indianapolis 500 victories over the same period, HPD has the 6-4 edge. Honda’s Indy 500 wins in the last 10 years have come courtesy of Andretti Autosport (3), Ganassi, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Meyer Shank Racing. Chevy’s four have been delivered by Team Penske (3) and KV Racing Technology.
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