News Tuesday afternoon that the anticipated 2.4 liter engine, set to debut in 2024, has been shelved sent a tsunami of gloom and doom through the Indycar fan base. Soaring production casts and issues with the new hybrid componen, as well as a lack of a third OEM, all contributed to the decision by Honda, Chevrolet, and the series to rake a step back.
The two engine manufacturers also had to redirect some of the resources for the new engine to help develop the ERS hybrid system.
The higher cost of the 2.4 liter twin turbo meant that fewer cars would be on the grid. Only as many as 12 cars, maybe fewer, could be supplied at that price. Indycar would have had a smaller grid, and likely a shrunken field for the 500.
Am I disappointed? Yes. i was looking forward to the sound of the bigger engine. Is the series doomed? I don’t think so. Indycar is coming off a great season and is anticipating a larger full time grid for the coming season. This is a setback, no doubt, but it prevents a shrinkage of the grid for 2024 and beyond.
I am more concerned about the series marketing efforts. When a new marketing director is on board, that needs a budget at least quadruple what it is now. The series has for far too long relied on others to promote for them. They need to be more proactive and give the new director more tools to work with.
While the optics of the engine n3ws looks bad, it is not the end of the world. Let’s enjoy what we have for now.