NTT IndyCar Series has finalized two very important contacts regarding their engines for the upcoming seasons.
The deal with Chevrolet and Honda has been extended, so it runs until the end of this decade.
Chevrolet has a long history in Indycar, but has been in the series for this round since 2012. The engines are build by Ilmor, which Roger Penske holds shares in. They are just marketed as Chevrolet engines, and as the American engine, in the American series.
The Japanese Honda brand does however also hold an American angle. It’s Honda Performance Development (HPD) which is supplying the Indycar engines, and that is their American tuning department. They have been in the sport since 2003, with Ilmor doing the tuning for some of the years, until they got the Chevy deal.
The two engine suppliers will continue to deliver 2,2 litres V6 Twin-turbo engines for the 2021 and 2022 seasons, until a brand new 2,4 litres V6 Twin-turbo engine with hybrid will replace the current formula in 2023. It was originally planned to be introduced in 2022, but that was pushed back due to the COVID-19 situation. It’s not yet clear, exactly how the new hybrid system will work, since the cars don’t brake on ovals – or perhaps just briefly – and then it’s tough to have a KERS system, like we know from Formula 1 and Le Mans cars, where it’s the braking, that charges the batteries. There are exhaust driven and heat-regenerating hybrid systems, so it could end up being one of those solutions.
The engines will have more than 900 bhp, with plans of a Push2Pass system still en place, which will boost them to even more.
Another advantage of the hybrid systems on the cars, is that an external starter is no longer required, for the engine to fire up in the pits, or if it has come to a halt on the track. The drivers will just have to fire up the hybrid part, and the engine will start. That is clearly visible on the Toyota Gazoo Racing cars at Le Mans, where they run for the first 50 meters in the pits, on hybrid power only, following their pitstop.
Chevrolet has the best record in most recent years, with 6 championship titles, while Indy500 has been more evenly shared with 4 wins for the brand, with the Swiss founder, back in 1911.