Chevrolet to begin second phase of engine testing with new year.
DETROIT, Dec. 20, 2002 - After completing nearly 1,500 miles of track testing with the all-new 2003 Chevy Indy V8, GM Racing is ready to begin the second phase of testing in early January. Since testing began on October 26, Chevy's new Indy car powerplant has logged hundreds of laps at tracks in Kentucky, Texas, Arizona and California. The testing program will resume in early January at Homestead-Miami Speedway with the engine installed in the open-wheel series' new 2003 chassis.
"We have proven the basic engine concept with prototype hardware, and we are now producing components for Chevrolet teams to test with their new chassis," said GM Racing program manager Joe Negri. "We hit all of our initial performance targets, and we have built a strong foundation for Chevrolet's 2003 IRL engine program. We will continuously improve the package to ensure that Chevrolet teams have a powerful and reliable engine for the first race on March 2, and we will continue this development process throughout the season."
Reigning IRL champion Sam Hornish Jr. and Team Menard drivers Jaques Lazier and Vitor Meira tested the 2003 Chevy Indy V8 using 2002 chassis that were modified to accommodate the smaller, lighter 2003 engine. Pennzoil Panther Racing, Team Menard and Red Bull Cheever Racing are scheduled to test their 2003 Dallara chassis in Florida early next month.
Tests were conducted at Kentucky Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway and California Speedway using Chevy Indy V8 engines prepared by Speedway Engine Development, Menard Engine Group and VDS Engines.
"We were able to evaluate the new Chevy Indy V8 on a variety of tracks that are representative of the circuits we will race on in 2003," said GM Racing engineer Dick Amacher. "We ran on a relatively flat 1-mile oval and high-banked speedways, using Chevy engines prepared by three different engine builders. The cooperation and synergy between our affiliated teams and builders is one of the strengths of Chevy's IRL program."
The 2003 Chevy Indy V8 is the second new engine produced in-house by GM in two years. It incorporates new technology that distinguishes it from the 2002 version that won 14 of 15 IRL events and swept the manufacturer, driver and team championships. The 2003 Chevy Indy V8 has a precision gear camshaft drive instead of chains, two fuel injectors per cylinder instead of one, removable wet cylinder liners instead of the dry liners that were used previously, and a new electronic engine management system. The 2003 version is 3 inches narrower, 3 inches shorter and 35 pounds lighter than its predecessor.
"The conservative approach would have been to simply update the successful 2002 Chevy Indy V8, but GM Racing was willing to reach and take some risks with an all-new 2003 design," said GM Racing lead engine designer Roger Allen. "We know that the performance bar will be raised next season, and we are committed to producing a competitive engine package for Chevrolet teams."
While many are celebrating the holidays, IRL teams and GM Racing engineers will be working flat-out to prepare for the New Year and the start of the next phase of Chevrolet's rapidly accelerating IRL engine program.