Chevy To Replace All IndyCar Engines
Chevrolet will replace the engines in all 11 of its V-6-powered IZOD IndyCar Series entries prior to the start of on-track activities this weekend for Sunday’s 38th annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The decision was made following the tear-down and inspection of an engine that experienced an issue during an IndyCar-sanctioned test Monday at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.
“We are still learning the limitations of the new engine controls calibration,” Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing IZOD IndyCar Series program manager, said in a statement from Detroit. “Through our testing in Sonoma, as indicated by an engine issue, we uncovered a problem that we believe could affect all engines. So, as a result, we feel it is prudent to change all engines prior to the start of the on-track activities this weekend.”
Per the provisions set forth in the IndyCar rulebook (rules 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199) that outlines the penalty for a change-out if the engine has not reached its minimum mileage threshold of 1,850 miles, each of the 11 drivers will be levied a 10-position penalty on the starting grid prior to the green flag for the Long Beach race.
“This is certainly a decision that was not made lightly,” Berube said. “We intently discussed the situation with our partners and our teams prior to determining that this was the best course of action to preserve the integrity of the racing in the IZOD IndyCar Series.”
INDYCAR officials announced Wednesday the No. 27 Andretti Autosport car driven by James Hinchcliffe had been slapped with 10-grid position penalty, the result of an unapproved engine change pursuant to rules 15.3.1 and 15.6.1 of the rulebook.
The 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged Chevy engine in the No. 27 GoDaddy.com Dallara DW12 driven by Hinchcliffe developed an issue during a team test on Monday at Infineon Raceway, requiring a fresh engine to be installed prior to the first practice session Friday on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn Long Beach temporary street circuit. Hinchcliffe, the 2011 Sunoco Rookie of the Year, has top-10 finishes in both races this season.
Through the first two races of the 2012 schedule, the Chevrolet engine has scored two victories and two poles. Helio Castroneves of Team Penske won the season-opener at St. Petersburg; Penske’s Will Power won at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.No Comment