While these first tests were run in complete secrecy, with the current 2.2-liter engine alternator replacing the Mahle-spec hybrid component, both companies said they welcomed the opportunity to at least run their respective internal combustion engines. [ICE] IndyCar 2024 powertrain elements.
The two-day test was extended to a third day due to bad weather conditions. Scott Dixon drove a Honda-powered Chip Ganassi Racing car during the three days of testing, while a Team Penske Chevrolet car was driven by Josef Newgarden on Monday, and by Will Power on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Great secrecy shrouded the tests being held on the 2,587-mile track version which added an extra spin at Turn 5 compared to the layout used in the two IndyCar races on the Indianapolis highway track.
However, David Salters, president and technical director of HPD said: “A big voice for the inspiring Honda men and women at HPD in California, where Honda Indy car engines are designed, simulated, manufactured, assembled and dino tested.
“The engine ran fine for three days, and we completed all of the 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 power plant on track. We set ourselves up for these challenges to develop our people and technology here at HPD. Very proud of the incredible team at HPD and our Honda ‘challenging spirit’. It’s great to see all this hard work roaring on the legendary Indy track, very special and certainly emotional for all of us.
“Props for the highly informed fans out there in the land of social media who notice the deeper gnarly undertones of our new HPD Indycar racing engine. It’s an entirely new design from HPD and certainly catches your eye – not bad for a super-efficient bio-fuel racing engine. Good for those HPD racing magicians.
“We had a good test in Indy these last three days. Despite the cold temperatures, our HPD racing engine stays warm and ready for its hybrid friend to join the party. We can’t wait to integrate hybrid technology, improve powertrain performance and further enhance the great race that is IndyCar.”
Rob Buckner, Chevrolet Engineering program manager for IndyCar is also enthusiastic about the performance of the next-generation engine, describing the test as “successful” and “productive”.
“This is a huge milestone as we have progressed from the initial concept of the 2.4 liter design a few years ago – and running extensively with a dyno – to fitting the engine into the car and is now a landmark event to transform our first lap of the Indianapolis Road Course.
“We greatly appreciate all the men and women at Chevrolet Performance and our partners at Ilmor for their commitment to the highly successful on-track debut of the 2.4 liter engine platform. We can race this engine tomorrow, which is the highest compliment for the new engine.
“Special thanks to Team Penske for quickly building a reliable and safe test car, together with Josef Newgarden and Will Power who looked after our prototype engine with the best feedback.
“We are now shifting our focus back to the 2.2 liter Chevrolet engine and the high workload of team testing ahead of next weekend’s Long Beach Grand Prix. This is the most challenging time of the year for everyone involved in INDYCAR and I can’t wait to watch the Chevrolet Competition group and our racing team execute. Our target for 2022 is in front of us and we are ready.”
Newgarden commented: “It has been thrilling to work with the Team Chevy engineering group and drive the new 2024 engine package. This is a great collaborative effort to put a new engine on track to start testing for all the components needed in our cars…
“For us, starting early really emphasizes the importance of everything we will need in the future – endurance, power, fuel mileage. These are things we’ve always worked on and I’m excited to see Chevy’s future in IndyCar.”
Power described the test as “a major step in preparing the 2.4-liter engine package for the 2024 season.
“It’s clear that Chevy has done a lot of work on this. It will obviously keep getting better and better.
“The Verizon 5G Chevy team did 150 laps, and I was impressed with the power of the engine all the time. I’m really excited about this addition to the series and can’t wait to continue to help develop it.”