A challenging initial test of the 2204 engine for NTT IndyCar Series partners Chevrolet and Honda finally reached its conclusion on Wednesday, following an extra day of running around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
Cold weather conditions limited running to just the afternoon on Monday, which allowed for the additional day into the middle of the week. The next-gen 2.4-liter twin-turbo V6 engine were without the hybrid component for the test, leaving both manufacturers forced to run alternators from the current 2.2-liter V6 twin-turbo powerplant.
Honda featured Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon was in the car for all three days, while Chevrolet ran the Team Penske duo of Josef Newgarden (Monday) and Will Power (Tuesday and Wednesday).
There were no issues reported. The test was run on the 2.587-mile, 13-turn layout that features an extra loop at Turn 5, unlike the 2.439-mile, 14-turn circuit for both IndyCar events.
“A big shout out to the inspiring Honda men and women at HPD back in California, where the Honda Indy car engine is designed, simulated, manufactured, assembled and dyno-tested,” said David Salters, HPD president and technical director. “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-fueled, 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.”
(Video courtesy of Inside Track Communications)
Rob Buckner, Chevrolet Engineering’s program manager for IndyCar, also came away with positive impressions from the three days of running, where the manufacturer logged over 600 miles.
“We’ve had a very successful and productive three days with the new Chevrolet 2.4L IndyCar engine,” Buckner said. “This was a big milestone as we have progressed from initial concept of the 2.4L 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 the 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 2.4L 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.
“We now turn our focus back to the Chevrolet 2.2L and a high workload of team testing ahead of the Long Beach Grand Prix next weekend. It is the most challenging time of the year for everyone involved in IndyCar and I’m looking forward to watching the Chevrolet Competition group and our race teams execute. All our goals for 2022 are right in front of us and we are ready.”
Newgarden added, “It was a thrill to get to work with the Team Chevy engineering group and get to drive the new 2024 engine package. It was a great collaborative effort to get the new engine on track to start testing for all the components needed in our Chevy — power, durability and logging miles on the track. I always enjoy getting to work with everyone at Team Chevy and the cohesive unit we develop as partners with the same goals. For us, getting started early really emphasizes the importance of everything we are going to need in the future — durability, power, fuel mileage. These are the things we are always working on and I’m excited to see what the future is going to hold for Chevy in IndyCar.”
For his part, Power noted the group completed “150 laps” and complimented the power of the ’24 power unit.
“Today was a great step in getting the 2.4-liter engine package ready to go for the 2024 season,” Power said. “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.”