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Dixon: New IndyCar hybrid “will change the strategy” in 2024

Six-time IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon says the new electrical hybrid system for 2024 will impact the way that drivers and strategists will run their races.

Scott DIxon, Chip Ganassi Racing

Dixon was speaking after a two-day test at Sebring, in which the 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 engines were paired with the common hybrid components in full regeneration mode for the first time.

Dixon drove the Chip Ganassi Racing-run Honda test car, while Will Power handled the Team Penske-fielded Chevrolet version. Both drivers recorded over 800 laps, and approximately 1,400 miles, between them around the eight-turn, 1.7-mile short course at Sebring.

“It will change the strategy, especially if you have to regen and you’re being attacked and it’s going to be hard to regen,” Dixon told IndyCar.com. “It’s going to add a different dynamic.

“Not only from a strategy [standpoint] but for the person in the seat. You have to be thinking pretty quickly and making the right decision at the right time, which will make the racing even more spicy, which will be pretty cool.”

Deployment of extra horsepower will come from the hybrid using electrical power regenerated under braking. Manual and automatic regeneration techniques were tested, and the supercapacitor system will provide up to an additional 150 horsepower.

“I’m always excited to try something new,” said Power. “I’ve been a big part of the testing of the new hybrid, running on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course without regeneration power like we’re running here.

“It’s going very smoothly. We’ve had no issues, and now we’ve added the regen to the power side of it. Everything is going as the engineers expected.”

The internal combustion engine side is unchanged for 2024, after the plan to switch to 2.4-liter motors was shelved. The hybrid unit – which is a collaborative effort between Chevrolet and Honda – is small enough to fit inside the bell housing.

Indycar Hybrid Sebring test

Indycar Hybrid Sebring test

Photo by: IndyCar

“For both manufacturers – I know for Honda – it’s a huge push to be relative to what they produce in their road cars,” added Dixon. “This will bring in new technology that will trickle down.

“Much lighter, compact units, which will be better for the future. It’s all about efficiency, to have less emissions and make it better for road cars.”

Testing of the new system will continue throughout the fall and winter, ahead of its race debut at the start of the 2024 season. This will include oval testing, which is the greater unknown given the lack of braking to regenerate the power – although it has been suggested that this can be achieved via slipstreaming.

“A lot of things to be decided, but ultimately you can have more power all of the time, which would be good,” Power said. “We all love more horsepower. I think you want the most regen that you can have and use the engine to its max. It’s exciting.”

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