INDIANAPOLIS — The IndyCar Sequence will proceed working the identical engines every of the subsequent two seasons.
It additionally will probably be working with the identical two engine producers, Chevrolet and Honda, into the foreseeable future.
IndyCar president Jay Frye introduced Saturday the three events agreed to delay the introduction of a brand new engine till 2023 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally they reached a multiyear contract extension, which inserts neatly into the collection’ five-year plan that runs by means of 2028.
“It has been an enormous problem,” Frye mentioned, referring to maintaining this season on monitor. “So it is nice that there is some readability now — readability with the schedule, readability with this deal.”
The brand new 2.4-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engine with hybrid know-how was anticipated to be prepared subsequent season.
A newly designed powertrain system that provides drivers the flexibility to start out their very own vehicles, moderately than needing the normal handheld starters, additionally was a part of the package deal. Sequence officers imagine it should assist restrict the publicity of harm to security crew members.
However when companies shut down in March, it grew to become clear the engines would not be able to compete in 2021. So the collection will use the smaller, much less highly effective engines within the present vehicles as growth continues on the hybrid engines.
“I do not know the way precisely we will do it, however we will discover a solution to do it,” Honda Efficiency Improvement president Ted Klaus mentioned. “The method we’re speaking about is related to the instances. We have to construct a bridge to the longer term.”
What precisely the longer term appears like is not solely unclear.
Frye believes extra IndyCar groups may very well be on the monitor subsequent season and one proprietor, Michael Shank, already has introduced his crew has secured extra funding to broaden his sports activities automotive crew in addition to his IndyCar crew, which is wrapping up its first full-time season.
Klaus, in the meantime, insisted the brand new deal displays Honda’s long-term dedication to motorsports although the announcement got here someday after Honda said it was pulling out of Formula One. Honda additionally has mentioned it has no rapid curiosity in NASCAR.
“Yesterday is a matter of us harvesting the funding we made in F1, and as we speak you heard me echoing motorsports is in our blood,” Klaus mentioned. “You are going to see Honda proceed to compete in motorsports world wide, and I feel it is a bit little bit of serendipity that these tow bulletins got here so shut collectively.”
Honda has competed in IndyCar every of the previous 27 seasons, generally because the collection’ sole engine supplier. Chevrolet rejoined the collection eight years in the past, bringing again the producer’s title chase older IndyCar followers desperately wished.
However Klaus, Frye and Common Motors president Mark Reuss need much more competitors.
“I feel it is completely wanted and suppose it could be fabulous,” Reuss mentioned. “I feel it could make it [the series] higher and one other producer would assist the collection to continue to grow. We’re in it to win, however we’re additionally in it to verify the collection may be very sustaining for the longer term.”
Saturday’s information caps an enormous week for IndyCar.
On Thursday, it launched the 2021 schedule, which features a second race date on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s street course and a second consecutive NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend.
On Friday and Saturday, 1000’s of followers returned to the grandstands for the Harvest GP doubleheader together with a collection of sports activities automotive races. An eight-hour endurance race is also scheduled for Sunday.
The title chase is also heating up as two-time collection champ Josef Newgarden makes an attempt to defend his 2019 crown. He had trimmed Scott Dixon‘s as soon as seemingly insurmountable 120-point result in 40 factors by successful Friday’s race from the entrance row. Newgarden may get even nearer if he finishes forward of Dixon on Saturday, establishing a shootout for the title on the Oct. 25 season finale in St. Petersburg.
And now they’ve each main engine producers signed to long-term contracts.
“The very fact we’re dedicated to reinvesting on this collection for years to come back ought to say all the pieces about what we give it some thought,” Reuss mentioned. “It is a collection that options a number of the greatest racing on the planet and a number of the most proficient worldwide drivers.”