It took an extra day and a lot of patience as cold weather and rain made free running a challenge, but the NTT IndyCar Series and its engine partners Chevrolet and Honda completed a successful opening track test for the new and more powerful 2024 internal combustion engines.
The three-day day test held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course gave Chevy and Honda a first look at how their 2.4-liter twin-turbo V6 powerplants performed under duress, and after accumulating somewhere between eight to 10 hours of running when conditions allowed, the test was hailed as a valuable exercise.
No significant issues were reported for either manufacturer, whose 2024 motors are expected to produce something in the range of 800hp and put a combined 900hp to the ground once the new energy recovery systems are incorporated into the hybrid package.
“A big shout out to the inspiring Honda men and women at HPD back in California, where the Honda IndyCar engine is designed, simulated, manufactured, assembled and dyno-tested,” said Honda Performance Development president and technical director David Salters. “The engine ran well throughout the three days, and we completed all planned test items, thanks to Chip Ganassi racing and Scott Dixon.
“The car ran flawlessly with great collaboration and feedback and we learnt a lot. It’s great to get our new powerplant on track, we set ourselves these challenges to develop our people and technology here at HPD. Fun fact – our Californian designed and made racing engine braved the freezing conditions at Indy. We are proud of you – it even ventured out in the rain!”
Although the exhaust note with the 2.4L TTV6s did not sound altogether different from the current 2.2L TTV6s, the more powerful engines did appear to have slightly altered audio signatures.
“Props to the extremely well-informed fans out there in social media land who noticed a deeper gnarly tone from our new HPD Indycar racing engine,” Salters said. “It is an entirely new design from HPD and it certainly grabs your attention; not bad for a bio-fueled, super-efficient racing engine. Well done to those HPD racing magicians.
“We had a great test at Indy these past three days. Despite the chilly temperatures our HPD racing engine is warm and ready for its hybrid friend to join the party. We can’t wait to integrate the hybrid technology, boost the powertrain performance and further enhance the great racing that is IndyCar.”
Although lap counts and times were not released, RACER understands Chevy and Honda turned beyond 500 miles apiece during the test which kept Josef Newgarden and Will Power busy for Team Penske and Dixon in action for CGR and Honda.
“We’ve had a very successful and productive three days with the new Chevrolet 2.4L IndyCar engine,” said Rob Buckner, Chevrolet Engineering Program Manager for IndyCar. “This was a big milestone as we have progressed from initial concept of the 2.4L design a few years ago and running extensively on the dyno, to installing the engine into a car and now the landmark event of turning our first laps at the Indianapolis Road Course.
“We are incredibly appreciative of the all the men and women at Chevrolet Performance and our partners at Ilmor for their commitment to a highly successful on-track debut for the 2.4L engine platform. We could race this engine tomorrow, which is the highest praise possible for a new engine. Special thanks to Team Penske for quickly building a reliable and safe test car along with Josef Newgarden and Will Power for looking after our prototype engine with first-rate feedback.”