The NTT IndyCar Series announced on Thursday that from 2022 through to 2027, it will implement a single-source hybrid system in its race cars.
Following the lead of Formula One, the change is aimed at providing key enhancements ranging from competition to safety, the new hybrid system working in conjunction the internal combustion engines supplied to teams by Honda and Chevrolet.
“It’s an exciting time for INDYCAR with the forthcoming evolution of the cars and innovations like the hybrid powertrain being incorporated into the new engine,” said IndyCar President Jay Frye. “As we move toward the future, we will remain true to our racing roots of being fast, loud and authentic, and simultaneously have the ability to add hybrid technology that is an important element for the series and our engine manufacturers.”
— Graham Rahal (@GrahamRahal) August 1, 2019
The forthcoming innovations that Frye refers too will see drivers able to restart their cars from the cockpit, with the ‘push-to-pass system’ providing the drivers with a power boost for overtaking on road and street courses. Currently, the system is limited to 200 seconds per driver but from 2022, they will gain additional power from the hybrid system and achieve 900-plus horsepower.
“Honda is committed to racing in order to develop people and technologies relevant to the future of our sport and our world,” said Honda Performance Development President Ted Klaus. “IndyCar offers us the perfect platform to prove out both people and technologies in an environment where measurement of successes and failures is crystal clear.”
It’s not only the new hybrid powertrain that fans will be looking forward to, the arrival of the next-generation chassis also scheduled to coincide with the next phase of development.
“Chevrolet supports delaying the implementation of the revised engine regulations until 2022 to coincide with the NTT IndyCar Series introduction of new technologies with the chassis,” added U.S. Vice President of Performance and Motorsports Jim Campbell said. “The partnership between Chevrolet and IndyCar remains a strong platform for showcasing relevant technologies that we incorporate in our production engines, and transfer learnings in performance, reliability and efficiency between the racetrack and the showroom.”
The ability of drivers to restart their car on the track also offers the safety benefit of reducing the time the driver and AMR Safety Team are exposed on track in the event of an accident or stall, as opposed to awaiting a manual restart.