Chevrolet ramps up for increased competition in IRL series. FORT WORTH, Texas, June 5, 2002 -- Oval track racing has taken on a distinctive new shape this season -- a red Bowtie. Since Chevrolet's return to open-wheel competition in March, Chevy...
Chevrolet ramps up for increased competition in IRL series.
FORT WORTH, Texas, June 5, 2002 -- Oval track racing has taken on a distinctive new shape this season -- a red Bowtie. Since Chevrolet's return to open-wheel competition in March, Chevy Indy V8 engines have won every Indy Racing League event, including the Indianapolis 500 on May 26, the crown jewel of the 15-race IRL series.
While the origins of the Chevrolet Bowtie logo have been obscured by time, automotive folklore maintains that company co-founder William Durant adapted the design from a wallpaper pattern he saw in a Paris hotel room. Regardless of the source of Durant's inspiration, the Bowtie has become one of the world's most recognizable trademarks and a symbol of success in motorsports.
One year after the announcement that Chevy would return to Indy car competition, engines wearing the Chevrolet Bowtie won the pole at the Indianapolis 500, finished first through fourth and swept 14 of the first 15 finishing positions. Chevrolet powered 26 of the 33 starters and 18 of the 22 cars running at the finish. Chevy Indy V8 engines demonstrated rock-solid reliability at the Brickyard, completing 10,862 racing miles with only two reported mechanical problems -- one of which was attributable to a gearbox issue.
"Chevrolet engine reliability was at an unprecedented level throughout the entire month of May," said GM Racing program manager Joe Negri. "I can't remember a month in Indy with so few engine problems throughout practice, qualifying and the race.
"Chevrolet teams also continued to make advances in performance in only the fifth event with the new Chevy engine package," Negri noted. "Nissan is clearly competitive, but in race mode, our engines are very strong. We didn't have to back them down for a 500-mile race."
Among the 18 major components of the Gen II Chevy Indy V8 engine, 16 are either new or substantially redesigned from the first-generation engine. GM Racing is designing an all-new third-generation Chevy Indy V8 for the 2003 season when new engine rules take effect.
Competition among manufacturers promises to intensify next season with the entry of Toyota and Honda as IRL engine suppliers. Negri is confident that GM Racing will be up to the challenge.
"Honda and Toyota are respected competitors with experience in top-level racing," Negri said, "but GM has been involved in the IRL series since its inception. We have a deep understanding of the technology that is required to be successful in a formula that specifies maximum engine speed, maximum cylinder bore diameter and other important design parameters. GM's winning record in IRL, NASCAR and other series around the world demonstrates our ability to produce championship caliber engines in environments that encourage affordable technology. I believe that GM and Chevrolet have the commitment, the technical resources and the people to do the job."
One of the goals of Chevy's open-wheel program was to win the Indy 500. That objective has now been achieved. The next priority is to win the IRL Manufacturer's and Driver's Championships. With an undefeated record, a 15-point lead in the manufacturer standings and the top ten drivers going into Saturday's Boomtown 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, the Chevrolet Bowtie is the shape of things to come in Indy car racing.