INDYCAR Comes Up With A Winner – Hybrid Power

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Thursday, August 1 2019
INDYCAR is taking a bold step forward by switching on hybrid power in 2022.

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor

With all the idiotic, transparently gimmick-based changes that American auto racing series have been splatting against walls in recent years, it has never been easier to become a cynic of the sport.

But on Thursday, INDYCAR announced a change that is easy to endorse and praise.

Series officials announced that beginning in the 2022 season, its cars will be powered by Honda and Chevrolet hybrid engines.

In a press release, INDYCAR President Jay Frye said, “As we move toward the future, we will remain true to our racing roots of being fast, loud and authentic, and simultaneously have the ability to add hybrid technology that is an important element for the series and our engine manufacturers.”

The news is exciting on a number of levels.

It’s exciting for purist fans as the new engines will crank out nearly 1,000 horsepower. It will also allow drivers to restart stalled engines without needing a non-integrated electric starting motor being wheeled into place.

It’s exciting for tech freaks because of the technological complexity of the systems. As a current hybrid owner, I find the technology needed to made the system work fascinating and I also love the 50 miles to the gallon.

It’s exciting for those who happen to care about the environment and climate change. The fact that two of the world’s top auto manufacturers are behind this move sends out the signal that they think the future of passenger cars is the future of cleaner passenger cars.

INDYCAR is introducing hybrid technology for the simple reason that the world is going green and its engine manufacturers know the time has come to get serious about that fact.

“Honda is committed to racing in order to develop people and technologies relevant to the future of our sport and our world,” Honda Performance Development President Ted Klaus said.

“The partnership between Chevrolet and IndyCar remains a strong platform for showcasing relevant technologies that we incorporate in our production engines, and transfer learnings in performance, reliability and efficiency between the racetrack and the showroom,” U.S. Vice President of Performance and Motorsports Jim Campbell said.

Hybrid and Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems are not new to racing. They have been used to great effect in sports car racing for many years. Think the Audi e-Trons and Porsche 919s in the World Endurance Championship over the last decade or so. Think Formula 1 beginning in 2009.

In the IndyCar Series, the hybrid system will work in parallel with the internal combustion engines.

The hybrid technology will consist of a multi-phase motor, inverter and electric storage device that will create energy recovery from the car’s braking system.

Exciting stuff. Welcome to the world, America.

Nicely done, INDYCAR.

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Thursday, August 1 2019
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