New 2.4-liter twin-turbo V6 NTT IndyCar Series engines from Chevrolet and Honda turned their first laps in anger on Monday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Honda deployed Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time champion Scott Dixon as its test team and Team Penske had Josef Newgarden in motion on behalf of Chevy.
Hampered by frigid weather in the 30-40F range, the Chevy and Honda test teams warmed their engines and waited until early afternoon before turning installation laps. Chevy was out first, followed by Honda, and more running was done afterwards with the cool air and track surface limiting the amount of valuable information that could be gathered.
The larger displacement engines ran without the energy recovery systems that are expected to be ready for testing in June, leaving the test teams to evaluate the new and larger radiators and other related engine ancillaries connected to the 2.4-liter mills. Outside of checking the variety of sensors and systems fitted to the cars, the manufacturers were held to short runs without much to be accomplished in temperatures that prevented meaningful stress and head loading being placed on the motors. No major issues were reported during the afternoon session.
“This is an important step for HPD, Honda and IndyCar as the series moves into the electrified era, and it was a successful day” said David Salters, HPD president and technical director.
“But there are many more steps to take before the full, hybrid power unit debuts in 2024. The 2.4-liter engine is an all-new design, that has been fully developed, dyno-tested and manufactured by the great men and women at HPD. There is still a very, very long list of things to be accomplished before the power unit is tested in competition, but this is certainly a milestone for everyone at Honda and HPD.”
The series has three days booked for the manufacturers at IMS, with Monday and Tuesday scheduled for new-engine testing and Wednesday positioned as a fallback date if needed. With more cool temperatures on tap for Tuesday, a stark rise from the 40s to the 70s is anticipated for Wednesday which might be used out of necessity.
As expected, the series and the manufacturers’ test teams kept a tight lid on imagery beneath the bodywork and detailed information from the day’s running.