2016 marks second season for the Chevrolet-specific Aero Kit powered by the Chevy 2.2-liter V6 twin-turbo direct injected engine
St. Petersburg, Fla. – Now it is time to race. After months of preparation and miles of testing on ovals and road courses, Chevrolet teams and drivers are set to kick off the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season this weekend in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Florida). In 2015 Team Penske’s Juan Pablo Montoya gave Chevrolet its fourth consecutive victory on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street course through downtown St. Petersburg.
The 2016 goal for Chevrolet Racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series: leave St. Petersburg with another “W” to kick off the season in pursuit of a fifth consecutive Manufacturer Championship. But the competition will be strong and the field tighter than ever.
“A tireless effort has been put forth by Chevy’s partners in the Verizon IndyCar Series in preparation for the start of the 2016 season at St. Petersburg,” said Mark Kent, Director of Motorsports Competition for Chevrolet. “Our Chevy teams and technical partners have worked closely with us on further optimizing the functionality and efficiency of the Chevrolet Aero Kit and the Chevrolet Direct Injected Twin Turbo V6 engine.”
Chevrolet Aero Kit update
One of the primary criteria for Chevrolet’s return to IndyCar competition in 2012 was the ability to design and engineer an Aero Kit that created differentiation from the competition. The 2015 introduction of the Chevrolet-specific Areo Kit accomplished that goal with components that included front and rear wing elements, “coked” side pods with wheel wedges and rear wheel guards to deliver Chevrolet IndyCar teams the right combination of drag and downforce coupled with optimum engine performance from the reliable and successful Chevrolet 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged, direct injected V6 engine fueled by E85.
The Aero Kit introduction with integrated Chevy V6 engine netted Team Chevy 10 Series wins, 16 poles, a fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer Championship, Scott Dixon winning the Driver Championship and Montoya taking Chevrolet to Victory Lane in the Indianapolis 500. After four seasons of competition, the number of wins for Chevrolet stands at an amazing 43 in 68 events since the start of 2012. In 2015, Chevrolet IndyCar drivers were awarded every Verizon P1 pole award.
Provisions in the 2016 Verizon IndyCar rulebook allow the manufacturers to continue to bring upgrades and enhancements. For Chevrolet, the goal remains the same – to give the Chevy teams the on-track tools needed to win races and championships. Chevrolet, in conjunction with its technical partners, has developed a strategic plan to rollout upgrades to the allowable three regulation boxes of the Chevrolet Aero Kit. For the St. Petersburg street course race, fans will see all new rear wheel guards on the Chevrolet entries.
“Per IndyCar rules, there are three ‘boxes’, or areas, of the aero kit which can be changed for the 2016 season,” Kent continued. “For Chevrolet, it is important that we continue to provide our teams with the correct balance of aerodynamic drag, downforce, engine performance, reliability and efficiency that has resulted in us winning the last four IndyCar Manufacturer Championships. Therefore, we plan on taking full advantage of this opportunity to further improve our aero performance and will implement staged changes to all three aero kit boxes. Chevrolet will introduce new rear bumper pods at the St. Petersburg race. We will update the other two ‘boxes’ later in the season.”
Chevrolet IndyCar V6 engine update
For 2016, Verizon IndyCar Series Engine Regulations continue to provide Chevrolet the opportunity to design and upgrade the Chevy IndyCar 2.2-liter V6 engine – the goal always being to provide Chevy teams and drivers improved power, reliability and fuel efficiency. The 2014 and 2015 upgrades, including the integration into the Chevy Aero Kits, remain in effect plus the opportunity for the Chevy engineers and technical partners to design and implement upgrades to ports, camshafts, fuel system and installation – including a new, lighter exhaust system and a new wastegate with improved actuator cooling and valve head design.
Scott Dixon drove his Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet to the Verizon IndyCar Championship in 2015, in dramatic fashion winning the season finale at Sonoma Raceway to capture the crown in a tie-breaker formula with fellow Team Chevy driver Montoya. Chevy drivers claimed four of the top-five final positions in the season standings with Will Power finishing in third and Helio Castroneves capturing fourth place honors.
The four-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion is ready to begin his title defense behind the wheel of his bright red No. 9 Chevrolet on the Streets of St. Petersburg.
“St. Petersburg is one of the best places to kick off the season,” said Dixon. “It’s around spring break time, they do a fantastic job of getting the community in and obviously the party atmosphere there too with different things going on during the day. All the different classes of cars that race there and all variety of things to do in St. Pete make it pretty fantastic for a lot of people. I live in Indianapolis and we finally get to have some sun and get to hang out in some warm weather. The track itself it always fantastic racing with big braking zones going into turn one. It’s also very wide, great for starts, restarts and overtaking throughout the race. I think it’s definitely been some great racing over the years and this year I expect the same. I haven’t won there either, so I need to work on that one. I’ve had three or four podiums but have never won.”
In every season since Chevrolet’s return to the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2012, a Chevrolet 2.2-liter, V6-powered driver has won the opening race on the Streets of St. Petersburg. Castroneves was the first to put Chevrolet in Victory Lane at St. Petersburg by taking the 2012 win. James Hinchcliffe took Chevy to the Winner’s Circle in 2013, Power started season off with the win for Chevrolet in 2014 and Montoya was in 2015.
At St. Petersburg, Team Chevy will be well represented by:
Ed Carpenter Racing
Josef Newgarden, No. 21 Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet
Ed Carpenter, No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet (ovals only)
Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
Scott Dixon, No. 9 Target Chevrolet
Tony Kanaan, No. 10 NTT Data Chevrolet
Charlie Kimball, No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chevrolet
Max Chilton, No. 8 Gallagher Chevrolet
Sebastien Bourdais, No. 11 Team Hydroxycut Chevrolet
Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 2 Verizon Chevrolet
Helio Castroneves, No. 3 Hitachi Chevrolet
Will Power, No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet
Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chevrolet