Honda, Chevy satisfied by first track test of 2024 engines
Although this first test was run in great secrecy, with the current 2.2-liter engine’s alternator in place of the spec hybrid component from Mahle, both companies said they welcomed the chance to at least run their respective internal combustion engine [ICE] element of the 2024 IndyCar powertrain.
The two-day test was extended to a third day due to adverse weather conditions. Scott Dixon drove the Honda-powered Chip Ganassi Racing car for all three days of the test, whereas Chevrolet’s Team Penske car was driven by Josef Newgarden on Monday, and by Will Power on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Great secrecy surrounded the test which was held on the 2.587-mile version of the course that adds an extra loop at Turn 5 compared with the layout used in IndyCar’s two races on the Indianapolis road course.
However, David Salters, HPD president and technical director said: “A big shout out to the inspiring Honda men and women at HPD back in California, where the Honda Indy car engine is designed, simulated, manufactured, assembled and dyno-tested.
“The engine ran well throughout the three days, and we completed all planned test items, thanks to Chip Ganassi Racing and Scott Dixon. The car ran flawlessly with great collaboration and feedback, and we learned a lot.
“It’s great to get our new powerplant on track. We set ourselves these challenges to develop our people and technology here at HPD. Very proud of the amazing team at HPD and our Honda ‘challenging spirit’. It’s great to see all this hard work roaring round the legendary Indy track, very special and certainly emotional for all of us.
“Props to the extremely well informed fans out there in social media land who noticed a deeper gnarly tone from our new HPD Indycar racing engine. It is an entirely new design from HPD and it certainly grabs your attention – not bad for a bio-fueled, super-efficient racing engine. Well done to those HPD racing magicians.
“We had a great test at Indy these past three days. Despite the chilly temperatures our HPD racing engine is warm and ready for its hybrid friend to join the party. We can’t wait to integrate the hybrid technology, boost the powertrain performance and further enhance the great racing that is IndyCar.”
Rob Buckner, Chevrolet Engineering’s program manager for IndyCar was similarly enthusiastic about the performance of the next-gen engine, describing the tests as “successful” and “productive”.
“This was a big milestone as we have progressed from initial concept of the 2.4-liter design a few years ago – and running extensively on the dyno – to installing the engine into a car and now the landmark event of turning our first laps at the Indianapolis road course.
“We are incredibly appreciative of all the men and women at Chevrolet Performance and our partners at Ilmor for their commitment to a highly successful on-track debut for the 2.4-liter engine platform. We could race this engine tomorrow, which is the highest praise possible for a new engine.
“Special thanks to Team Penske for quickly building a reliable and safe test car, along with Josef Newgarden and Will Power for looking after our prototype engine with first-rate feedback.
“We now turn our focus back to the Chevrolet 2.2-liter engine and a high workload of team testing ahead of the Grand Prix of Long Beach next weekend. It is the most challenging time of the year for everyone involved in INDYCAR and I’m looking forward to watching the Chevrolet Competition group and our race teams execute. Our goals for 2022 are right in front of us and we are ready.”
Newgarden commented: “It was a thrill to get to work with the Team Chevy engineering group and get to drive the new 2024 engine package. It was a great collaborative effort to get the new engine on track to start testing for all the components needed in our Chevy…
“For us, getting started early really emphasizes the importance of everything we are going to need in the future – durability, power, fuel mileage. These are the things we are always working on and I’m excited to see what the future is going to hold for Chevy in IndyCar.”
Power described the test as “a great step in getting the 2.4-liter engine package ready to go for the 2024 season.
“It was clear immediately that Chevy has put a lot of work into this already. It will obviously continue to get better and better.
“The Verizon 5G Chevy team did 150 laps, and I was impressed with the power of the engine throughout. I’m very excited about this addition to the series and can’t wait to continue to help develop it.”