Chevrolet, Honda hail successful first test of new IndyCar engines

Scott Dixon drives the Honda with the 2.4-litre engine. Picture: HPD-North American Motorsport Twitter

Chevrolet and Honda have declared the inaugural track test of the new, 2.4-litre IndyCar engines a great success.

The two crews were to have spent two days running on one of Indianapolis’ road courses, although that was extended to three due to cool weather.

However, the Bowtie’s Rob Buckner declared it a “very successful and productive” hit-out, while Honda’s David Salters said their car ran “flawlessly”.

Team Penske fielded the Chevrolet-powered car, driven by Josef Newgarden on the Monday and Will Power for the latter two days, while Scott Dixon steered the Chip Ganassi Racing Honda for the duration.

Neither vehicle ran with the energy recovery system which will be introduced along with the new engines in 2024, given those units have not yet arrived in the country.

According to Buckner, Chevrolet’s engineering programme manager for IndyCar, their new powerplant could race “tomorrow”.

“We’ve had a very successful and productive three days with the new Chevrolet 2.4-litre IndyCar engine,” he declared.

“This was a big milestone as we have progressed from initial concept of the 2.4-litre 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-litre 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.”

CLICK HERE to listen to the Chevrolet engine

Salters, Honda Performance Development’s president and technical director, was also effusive.

“A big shout out to the inspiring Honda men and women at HPD back in California, where the Honda IndyCar engine is designed, simulated, manufactured, assembled and dyno-tested,” he said.

“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-fuelled, 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.”

Power was impressed with his first experience of the new motor.

“Today was a great step in getting the 2.4-litre engine package ready to go for the 2024 season,” said the Queenslander.

“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 the day.

“I’m very excited about this addition to the series and can’t wait to continue to help develop it.”

Chevrolet-powered cars have won both races so far this year, with Newgarden getting up at Texas Motor Speedway after team-mate Scott McLaughlin took victory at St Petersburg.

Private testing will take place at Indianapolis later this week while the Grand Prix of Long Beach is the next race event, on April 8-10 (local time).

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