Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus Veekay wins the pole for the inaugural IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix.
For the time-being, IndyCar will stick with Honda and Chevy and its engine manufacturers, but the American open-wheel racing series locked up both partners with a multiyear extension announced Saturday morning that will last “well into the end of the decade.”
The deal will see both continue to produce the 2.2-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that debuted in 2012, until the end of the ’22 season — a delay of IndyCar’s previously-announced move toward a hybrid engine. Originally announced for a 2021 debut, the 2.4-liter twin-turbo-charged V6 hybrid power unit, capable of producing up to 900 horsepower, is scheduled for a 2023 rollout.
“Honda welcomes this step to the future by IndyCar, action that mirrors Honda’s efforts to develop and manufacture high performance, electrified products that will meet industry challenges and delight our customers,” Ted Klaus, president of Honda Performance Development, said in a release Saturday.
“We are thrilled to be moving forward with IndyCar because it’s the perfect showcase for our engine technology, in the only open-wheel racing series in America, a high-tech, growing series that Roger Penske and his team are absolutely taking to the next level,” Mark Reuss, president of General Motors, said in the release.
By pushing back IndyCar’s engine development another year, the move widens the window for the series to land an ever-elusive third engine manufacturer long-sought by league president Jay Frye. The series has not had three engine makers since Lotus’ disastrous one-year splash in 2012, the same year Chevy returned after leaving after the series following the 2005 season.
Most notably, new series owner Roger Penske, along with Frye and Penske Entertainment Corp. president and CEO Mark Miles, have been in talks with Ferrari to possibly slide in as a future third engine manufacturer. But with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic that forced several delays on and off track, it had seemed increasingly likely IndyCar would delay its engine plans to allow its current partners time to design new engines and to allow time to draw a potential third partner.
This story will be updated.
Email IndyStar motor sports reporter Nathan Brown at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @By_NathanBrown.