Indycar Reaches Long Term Agreement with Honda and Chevy

Photo from Indycar
INDIANAPOLIS (Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020) – INDYCAR has reached a new, multi-year extension with engine partners Honda and Chevrolet, taking their partnership well into the end of the decade and providing stability and innovation for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. “To be able to announce a long-term, multi-year extension with our two great partners is phenomenal,” INDYCAR President Jay Frye said. “It’s an exciting time in INDYCAR with the innovations in the car, the new 2.4-liter engine and hybrid technology.” Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the introduction of the 2.4-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 with hybrid technology will be delayed to the year 2023. Working in partnership with Chevrolet and Honda, the new engine will give the most exciting and competitive racing series in the world an additional 100 horsepower, ultimately producing over 900. “Honda welcomes this step to the future by INDYCAR, action that mirrors Honda’s efforts to develop and manufacture high-performance, electrified products that will meet industry challenges and delight our customers,” said Ted Klaus, president of Honda Performance Development. “At Honda, we race to develop our people, to innovate technologies and to engage fans. We are proud of our uninterrupted, 27-year leadership in INDYCAR, and look forward to delivering a next-generation Honda 2.4-liter hybrid power unit with more than 900 horsepower.” “Chevrolet has enjoyed great success since joining the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in 2012 with our 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V6 engine,” said Mark Reuss, president of General Motors. “We are thrilled to be moving forward with INDYCAR because it’s the perfect showcase for our engine technology, in the only open-wheel racing series in America, a high-tech, growing series that Roger Penske and his team are absolutely taking to the next level.” The newly designed powertrain system also will provide a departure from the traditional, manual handheld starters and will let drivers restart the car quickly should it stall on the track. This will benefit the AMR INDYCAR Safety Team as it reduces exposure time on track and adds to the fan experience by potentially reducing the number of caution flags on track, leading to better flow and time of races. “Fast, loud, and authentic,” Frye said, “along with a history of innovation – that’s our racing roots and will continue to be the sport’s legacy. This announcement keeps that in mind while celebrating a stable and bright future.” The commitment and overall stability of the series will continue to allow INDYCAR future opportunities for an additional OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) to join its mainstay engine partners.

Thoughts on McLaren

Silly Season was straightforward this year. Alexander Rossi stays with Andretti. Done. Wrap it up. Look to next year. Today, with McLaren’s announcement that they are joining Arrow Schmidt Peterson for 2020, the dam has burst. There are ripples throughout the paddock. Here are some of my thoughts about this development.

McLaren has a lot to prove after their debacle in May. Will partnering with Schmidt Peterson help them?

I’m disappointed that McLaren does not add to the car count. I’ve said before they are looking to come in the easy way, becoming part of an existing team instead of building their own team with  a technical alliance with an established team.

It’s a shame the way Honda’s hand was forced to make this deal happen. I can’t think of a Chevy team that would be a good match for McLaren. I’m not sure they even considered one.

My first concern was for James Hincliffe and Robert Wickens.  In Marshall Pruett’s story, he said that the commitment to Wickens will be honored. Later this morning, Hinchcliffe issued the following statement:

hinch statement

I hope he also  has a contract extension. Hinchcliffe’s current contract expires after the 2020 season. He also is losing his Honda commercial deal. I hope that he receives compensation for that.

Marcus Ericsson was likely going somewhere else anyway. he may be in a carlin car next year. Which brings up the question- who will drive the second car for the new team? Fernando Alonso said he is not interested in a full time Indycar ride.

Colton Herta may be available, but I think he will become the fifth driver at Andretti Autosport.  If he is, is Conor Daly once again out of a potential full time ride? It’s those paddock ripples splashing up.

With whom  does Meyer Shank now partner with as they prepare for a full schedule in 2020? The team is committed to Honda. An alliance with Andretti or Coyne seems most probable. I don’t think Ganassi is interested in being anyone’s partner.

The new team name is Arrow McLaren Racing SP. It bothers that mcLaren comes before Schmidt and Peterson and that the two founders names are reduced to initials. Since mcLaren is buying the team or acquiring the shares of either owner, I guess it’s a name recognition thing.

The biggest positive in today’s events is that Indycar now has a worldwide name in its paddock. it should help with recognition in Europe and may cause a bit of a bump in the United States.

I will keep updating as i learn more.  Everything I just wrote could be incorrect by now.

 

Quick Thoughts- Hybrid Power to Indycar in 2022

First, it’s about time! I have wondered why Indycar had not done this sooner.

I like that the cars  will have 900 horsepower and that the noise of the cars won’t be affected.

Onboard starters- about time again. This should reduce yellow flags during races even more. It will definitely make for fewer red flags during practice sessions.

This opens the door for a third OEM. Perhaps Porsche will reconsider joining? I have heard and thought that lack of a hybrid component was the hangup in getting a new engine manufacturer.

I don’t mind waiting another year for new features.  I’m interested to see how the new larger  engine will alter the shape of the bodywork on the car.

I’m not sure this will increase the size of the field, but it could.

PLEASE do not call this a Power Unit. It’s still an engine.

I will be back later today with more details. I’m heading to IMS for an adventure I will talk about tomorrow.

 

 

The Indianapolis 500 Pace Car

Today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway the pace car for the 103rd running ofm the Indianapolis 500 made its debut.  The Corvette Grand Sport will lead the field to the green flag on May 26th.

I really like the color of this car. I thought they might go with a Camaro resembling the pace car from 1969 to continue the Mario Andretti tribute. This Corvette is a nice alternative.

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