The NTT IndyCar Series will have four drivers at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday to test on the oval to prepare for the introduction of a new engine package in 2023.
Both Honda and Chevrolet will have two cars on track, with all four drivers using the Push-to-Pass system, which delivers increased power to the current 2.2-liter engine. In 2023, the new engine with hybrid technology will feature the ability of a 100-horsepower boost for use on ovals, as well as street and road courses.
The two Honda drivers are Alexander Rossi from Andretti Autosport and six-time series champion Scott Dixon with Chip Ganassi Racing. Representing Chevrolet will be Pato O’Ward from Arrow McLaren SP and Josef Newgarden from Team Penske.
The plan is for IndyCar to help guide the hybrid Push-to-Pass simulation beginning at 10 AM with choreographed group sessions lasting from 1-4 PM on Friday.
During non-oval races, the Push-to-Pass system provided an extra 40 horsepower when activated. On Friday, these four drivers will have twice as much (80 horsepower) at their disposal. This will provide more clarity for the 2023 season with Push-to-Pass through KERS.
“We tried this a couple years ago at Pocono, Phoenix, and Gateway, but the current push-to-pass system is different than what it was then,” IndyCar president Jay Frye told RACER. “The biggest issue that the drivers were having with the older system was when they came off it, it was too abrupt. Well, now with this current system, there’s a more of a gradual delay; the boost comes down smoother.”
The series will reveal the vendors for its KERS package in the coming weeks and also provide details on which energy recovery and deployment technology will be implemented on the ovals. Bill Pappas, VP of competition, told Motorsport.com that testing will be IndyCar regulated, where the manufacturers run together. He stated that full testing should be ready for the middle of 2022.
More action is scheduled for the IMS oval in the coming weeks, with a two-day Open Test being held on April 8-9. The 2021 season gets underway a little more than a week later on April 18 at Barber Motorsports Park.