IRL: Chevy Unveils Indy V8

CHEVROLET UNVEILS NEW CHEVY INDY V8 FOR 2002 IRL SEASON IRL Champions Hornish and B. Lazier First Team Chevrolet Drivers FORT WORTH, Texas, Oct. 5, 2001 - Chevrolet took another step today in its return to Indy car competition with the first ...

IRL Champions Hornish and B. Lazier First Team Chevrolet Drivers

FORT WORTH, Texas, Oct. 5, 2001 - Chevrolet took another step today in its return to Indy car competition with the first public showing of the new Chevy Indy V8 racing engine that will compete in the IRL series in 2002. Chevrolet previewed its new powerplant and introduced IRL champions Sam Hornish Jr. and Buddy Lazier as the first of many drivers who will wear the red Bowtie next season in a press conference held today at Texas Motor Speedway.

"Chevrolet is synonymous with success in American motorsports," said Steve Shannon, executive director of marketing services for GM Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing. "No other manufacturer can match the number of NASCAR, NHRA, road racing and off-road championships that Chevy has won. Chevrolet anticipates continuing its strong tradition of winning in open-wheel competition next year."

Chevrolet will return to the Indy car arena after an eight-year absence. Chevrolet competed in Indy-style racing from 1986 through 1993, winning 86 races, 80 poles, six Indianapolis 500 races and five series championships.

Newly crowned 2001 Indy Racing champion Sam Hornish Jr. and 2000 IRL champion Buddy Lazier unveiled the new-generation Chevy Indy V8. Hornish will defend his title with Pennzoil Panther Racing's Chevrolet-powered entry, while Lazier will seek his second IRL crown with Chevy power in Hemelgarn Racing's Indy car.

"Rick Mears scored Chevrolet's first Indianapolis 500 victory in 1988 with Pennzoil," said Hornish. "I want to follow in his footsteps and put Chevy back in the winner's circle."

"I fully intend to be the first driver to win the Indy 500 with the new Chevy Indy V8," declared Lazier. "And I want to win my second IRL championship with Chevrolet power in 2002."


GM Racing has designed and developed the major components of the new Chevy Indy V8 in-house using GM personnel and GM's technical resources.

"Since the announcement in June that Chevrolet would compete in the IRL series, GM Racing has focused on the new Chevy Indy V8 engine for the 2002 season," said Joe Negri, GM Racing IRL/Road Racing Group manager. "This engine is not a rebadged version of the IRL Aurora V8; it is a major upgrade within the framework of the IRL rules. Our dyno tests have already shown a significant improvement in performance.

"Infiniti introduced its second IRL engine this year, and it has finally proven to be competitive with our five-year-old design," Negri noted. "Now it's our turn to introduce a new engine that incorporates the knowledge and technical expertise that we have gained in five seasons of open-wheel racing.

"We will continue to work with our worldwide network of specialist suppliers and the independent engine builders who have played key roles in the success of GM's IRL program to date," Negri said. "We recognize that some teams may change engine suppliers in the future for a variety of reasons. We don't necessarily want to have the most teams in 2002 - we just want the best teams to use Chevrolet engines."


GM Racing lead engine designer Roger Allen and his colleagues will develop two new Indy car engines in the next two years - the second-generation Chevy Indy V8 for 2002, and an all-new, purpose-built Chevrolet Indy V8 for 2003. Allen was responsible for the design of key components for championship-winning Chevrolet engines in NASCAR, NHRA drag racing, road racing, as well as the Oldsmobile IRL program.

"The new Chevy Indy V8 is a significant departure from the Oldsmobile IRL Aurora V8," said Allen. "GM Racing has applied what we have learned to build a more powerful and more refined engine package. We have designed the new Chevy Indy V8's components to reduce friction and to improve efficiency. We have developed new cylinder heads that increase airflow and produce more horsepower. We have improved the valvetrain system to enhance reliability at sustained high rpm.

"The second-generation Chevy Indy V8 engine is accelerating our development of an all-new Chevrolet engine for 2003 when the IRL's new engine rules take effect," Allen added. "This 'Gen 3' motor for '03 will be 30 pounds lighter and dimensionally smaller than next year's engine. We are using powerful tools such as computer-aided design and manufacturing, computational fluid dynamics, finite element analysis, and solid modeling to design this powerplant. For an engineer, this is a very exciting time to be involved in Chevrolet's IRL program."


In the three months since Chevrolet General Manager Kurt Ritter announced Chevy's return to Indy racing, the GM division has made solid progress in its open-wheel motorsports program. The new Chevy Indy V8 will make its competition debut in the season-opening IRL race at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla., on March 2, 2002.

"Racing is an integral part of Chevrolet's brand promise that says 'We'll be there'," said Ritter. "Customers justifiably believe that racing improves the safety and quality of production vehicles. By combining Chevrolet's rich racing heritage with General Motors' advanced technology, we will create a halo for all Chevrolet products.

"Chevrolet is truly America's brand," Ritter added, "and we want to win America's race, the Indianapolis 500."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Buddy Lazier , Rick Mears , Sam Hornish Jr.
Teams Panther Racing