5 years after walking away from IZOD IndyCar Series competition, General Motors announced today at an Indianapolis Motor Speedway press conference their intent to return. Starting in 2012, along with the implementation of the next generation Indycar formula, the Chevrolet brand will join Honda in supplying engines to IZOD IndyCar Series teams, including 15-time Indianapolis 500 winner, Roger Penske.
Partnering with Ilmore, the former Honda partner, GM will develop an efficient high performance twin-turbocharged, direct-injected, 2.4 or less liter , E85 powered V-6 engine, "Turbocharger is back, baby" said Penske pilot Helio Castroneves. The powerplant will have an aluminum block and cylinder heads, and will be a fully stressed chassis member supporting the gearbox and rear suspension.
Although GM wouldn't confirm, they did say that they are 'expecting' to develop an aero kit as well.
The addition of Chevy not only raises the public profile of the league, but it also helps open the door to the much talked about 'Memorial Day Double'. With one of the major hurdles to overcome when planning the dual event being engine clashes, Chevrolet branded entries in both events greatly enhances the possibility that a 4th name is added to the short list of previous participants.
Notable attendees for the Friday morning announcement included Gil De Ferran, Neil Restler, Eddie Gossage, Tony George, Martin Plowman, J.R. Hildebrand, Will Power, Helio Castroneves, Simona de Silvestro, Al Unser Jr., Arie Luyendyk.
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