IndyCar’s hybrid prepares for first superspeedway test at IMS

INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - MAY 28: #12: Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 28, 2023 in Indianapolis, United States of America. (Photo by LAT Images)
INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - MAY 28: #12: Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 28, 2023 in Indianapolis, United States of America. (Photo by LAT Images)

The NTT IndyCar Series will reach an important milestone with this week’s test of its new-for-2024 hybrid engine and energy recovery system.

Having tested with representatives from Chevrolet and Honda starting in August at Sebring’s short course which is used to replicate street circuits, on the short oval at World Wide Technology Raceway, at the big Road America road course, the twisting road course at Barber Motorsports Park, and at Sebring once again at the end of September, the upcoming Thursday-Friday test on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval will see four hybrid cars turn their first laps with the full ERS package installed on a superspeedway.

More tests are scheduled for late October and early November, but it’s the run at IMS that will help IndyCar and its partners at Dallara, Chevy, and Honda to refine the hybrid package in speedway trim.

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In a change from the recent tests where a variety of automatic and manual energy harvesting methods were allowed, IndyCar will conduct the two-day test with Colton Herta from Andretti Global, Alexander Rossi from Arrow McLaren, Will Power from Team Penske and Alex Palou from Chip Ganassi Racing using manual regeneration — through a harvesting paddle on the steering wheels — and manually deploying the energy through the push-to-pass button.

Traditional energy harvesting through the rear wheels is done under braking, but with minimal amounts of braking events on a superspeedway, IndyCar has devised a paddle system where drivers can apply pressure to the paddle and trigger everything from a light dragging of the brakes to progressively charge the supercapacitor. IndyCar chose a supercapacitor instead of a battery due to its rapid charging capabilities, which fit its needs at every type of track on the calendar, including the Indy 500.

Between the 9-11am and 2-6pm hybrid testing windows, IndyCar will accommodate Arrow McLaren’s Kyle Larson, who will be given three sets of Firestone tires and three hours from 11-2 to conduct and complete his Indy 500 Rookie Orientation Program.

In tandem with the series’ use of the Speedway for hybrid testing, Firestone will also make use of the test day by running through some development tires for next year’s Indy 500 with the assistance of the Chevy- and Honda-powered hybrid teams.

Meyer Shank Racing’s Tom Blomqvist led the three ROP drivers on Wednesday, with Ganassi’s Linus Lundqvist and Marcus Armstrong rounding out the trio of drivers who were approved to compete next May at the Greatest Spectacle In Racing.


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