The Honda-powered car was driven by Chip Ganassi Racing’s six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon, while two-time Team Penske champion Josef Newgarden drove the Chevrolet machine. Will Power is expected to take over Chevy driving duties when testing resumes tomorrow.
Today’s test was conducted on a 2.6-mile, 13-turn version of the street course, incorporating the speedway’s Turn 1 onto the front straight to reduce any advantage either team involved could have gained.
Neither engine utilized the Mahle-built hybrid unit that will be part of the specifications when the new 2.4-litre engines enter service in 2024, instead running alternators from the current 2.2-litre V6 twin-turbo Engines used at IndyCar since 2012.
Difficult cold track conditions minimized running early in the day, but things improved in the afternoon.
It was a closed test, so no lap times were announced. Rob Buckner, GM’s IndyCar program manager, limited his comments to the following: “We were very pleased with our first day on the track with the new engine.
David Salters, President and Technical Director of HPD, was more dovish. An official statement said: “This is an important step for HPD, Honda and IndyCar as the series moves into the electrified era and it has been a successful day. But there are still many more steps to be taken before full hybrid propulsion makes its debut in 2024.
“The 2.4 liter engine is an all new design, fully developed, dyno tested and manufactured by the great men and women at HPD. There is still a very, very long list of things to do before the powerplant is competitively tested, but this is certainly a milestone for everyone at Honda and HPD.”
Despite the low temperatures, HPD stated that “Dixon and the Ganassi team completed the full list of test points created by HPD engineers on opening day with no issues. A second day of racing is planned for tomorrow (Tuesday) with slightly warmer temperatures forecast for Indianapolis.”