When Chevrolet decided to return to IndyCar racing three years ago, the manufacturer deemed three factors critical:
- An engine package – small displacement (2.2L), higher performance (V6) with turbocharging and direct injection – relevant to current and future production models
- Fuel efficiency through renewable fuels
- Brand identity using Chevrolet engineers to design an aero kit specific to Chevrolet-powered cars
With the first two factors in place, Chevrolet returned to the series in 2012 and promptly won back-to-back-to-back manufacturer’s championships and two driver’s titles.
This year, Chevrolet-powered Verizon IndyCar Series race cars have a decidedly different appearance: they feature a Chevrolet-developed aero package, which was allowed for the first time under series rules.
“The aero kit gives us the ability to differentiate the Chevy-powered cars from the rest of the field, and take responsibility for a larger portion of the performance of the car via aerodynamics,” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing program manager for Verizon IndyCar Series. “This also provides additional opportunities for two-way tech transfer between the motorsports group and production vehicle engineering.”
Chevrolet introduced its road-course aero kit to the media recently at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“This is an important milestone in Chevrolet’s involvement in IndyCar racing,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “We focused on developing an aerodynamic package that delivers an optimal balance of downforce and drag, along with integrated engine performance. It’s a total performance package.”
“This new aero kit provides Chevrolet drivers the capability to enter and exit corners faster, while maintaining high speeds on the straights,” said Berube.
With such a strong focus on speed and cornering, it was no surprise when the series’ teams got together for a preseason test at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama, Will Power – the 2014 series champion and driver of the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet – recorded the quickest lap. Power covered the 17-turn, 2.38-mile course in 1:07.3118 (123.010 mph) as Chevrolets turned in the top six fastest speeds.
“The Promoter Test at Barber Motorsports Park is always an exciting moment in the IndyCar season when our Chevy engineers get to see the fruits of their off-season labor in the hands of our Team Chevy racing partners,” Berube said.
“This year, the culmination of multiple years of effort into the Chevrolet aero kit was rolled out during this two-day test and so far, the results were in line with our expectations. Together with our teams, we learned more about the strengths and weaknesses of our road-course configuration and engine installation.”
The first race of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series was March 29 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. Chevrolet swept the top six finishing positions. For more information about the all-new Chevrolet IndyCar aero package, visit the GM Media Site.
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