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Chevrolet reveals insight to 2024 IndyCar engine package gains

Chevrolet appears to have taken a major step forward after a strong showing in the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg that kickstarted the 2024 IndyCar season earlier this month.

The challenging 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit saw the bow-tie brand put together a 1-2-3-4 sweep, led by Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden, who led 92 of 100 laps from pole to seize the victory.

The outing showcased significant improvements for Chevrolet, who claimed the 2023 manufacturers’ title despite only winning five races to rival Honda’s 12. Most of its success came on ovals, with Honda being credited with superior drivability and fuel mileage on road courses.

Chevrolet-powered drivers revealed that it held a series of off-season meetings with teams, resulting in a ‘menu’ of engine-related factors that they wanted improving for 2024.

Rob Buckner, IndyCar Program Manager for Chevrolet, has now shared some insight to the areas that have elevated its performance.

“It is no single item, and credit to our teams because they also came back stronger to start 2024,” Buckner told Motorsport.com.

“We continue to add resource to GM Motorsports with our new Charlotte Technical Centre, new software tools and some really talented hires. We are fully committed.

“The Chevrolet engine package is better, our teams are better, and our support to put it all together continues to mature and develop. I am excited that we have 16 more chances to show what we are capable of.”

Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet

Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: Gavin Baker / Motorsport Images

And undoubtedly the impressive results in St. Petersburg provided a boost right out of the gate, although Honda retaliated with victory in the non-points Thermal Million Dollar Challenge last weekend.

“St. Pete was a great start to the year for Chevrolet, IndyCar, and continues GM Motorsports' strong start to 2024,” Buckner said. “It is always good to come out strong and verify that our engineering direction has helped our Chevy-powered teams.

“At the same time, this is race one of 17 and we have a long ways to go. St. Petersburg has historically been a great venue for Chevrolet, another win there means a lot.

“I am very proud of our engineering group which has grown significantly over the last 12 months with many new folks. It's great to see them get a result and see their efforts rewarded.”

One aspect that cannot be overlooked is the refinements of the current 2.2-liter, twin-turbo V6 engine have also come at a time when both Chevrolet and Honda have been thrashing to develop the hybrid technology that is set to arrive for the second half of the season.

Alexander Rossi participating in Indianapolis 500 Hybrid Testing

Alexander Rossi participating in Indianapolis 500 Hybrid Testing

Photo by: IndyCar Series

The process has seen thousands of miles between several test days, with Team Penske and Arrow McLaren handling the majority of the running for Chevrolet. Meanwhile, Honda has been represented by Andretti Global and Chip Ganassi Racing.

This past Thursday and Friday saw the rest of the teams finally get their respective first cracks at the new product.

“It's certainly a challenging year,” Buckner said. “We have been hybrid testing heavily while also considering how 2024 is going to start.

“It's basically two independent programs with their own challenges and everyone is juggling numerous responsibilities.

“What gives me confidence is that our collective group at GM and our partners at Ilmor, along with our race teams, always rise to the occasion.”

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