INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 12, 2010) — The Bowtie's coming back to the Brickyard.
General Motors Co.'s Chevrolet brand announced today it will return to IndyCar racing in 2012 when the series' new chassis/engine package comes into force. Chevrolet will develop, jointly with Ilmor Engineering, an aluminum 2.4-liter, twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V-6 racing engine powered by renewable E85 ethanol fuel.
Honda Performance Development Inc. (HPD), which has supplied IndyCar and IndyCar predecessor CART with engines for the past 16 seasons—including the past five exclusively—also has committed to developing an engine under the new regulations. IndyCar officials said they are courting other potential engine suppliers as well.
Chevrolet competed previously in Indy-style competition as an engine manufacturer in 1986-93 and 2002-05 with V-8 engines, winning 104 races, powering six driver champions, and scoring seven Indianapolis 500 victories.
Team Penske, which scored 31 open-wheel victories with Chevrolet engines, including four Indianapolis 500 wins, is the first IndyCar team to commit to Chevrolet power in 2012. The Chevy IndyCar engine will be available to all entrants in accordance with the series' regulations.
Chevy's return will coincide with the brand's centennial year celebrations.
“Our return to IndyCar as Chevrolet enters its centennial year is natural,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet Marketing. “At the same time this engine program will be a showcase for the efficient and powerful engine technologies that parallel new Chevrolet vehicles like the Camaro, all-new Cruze compact and Equinox crossover.”
Chevy's partner Ilmor Engineering currently works with Honda on its IndyCar engines; it's unclear what group will build Honda's engines for 2012.
HPD made it clear that it welcomes Chevrolet's return to the Izod IndyCar Series in 2012.
“…(W)e have repeatedly and unequivocally expressed our desire for engine competition within the series, dating even from our first days of sole supply, in 2006,” HPD President Erik Berkman said. “We look forward to renewing our relationship with Chevrolet as competitors on the racetrack and giving the fans of open-wheel racing a spirited and challenging rivalry.”