Ten Chevrolet drivers put in the first major running of the 2014 IndyCar Series season with a one-day manufacturer’s test Friday at Sebring International Raceway’s short course.
Chevrolet’s IndyCar program manager, Chris Berube, outlined some of the goals the manufacturer is working on as it seeks its third straight Manufacturer’s Championship in 2014.
“The IndyCar engine homologation table allowed a fairly significant amount of change to the engine for 2014, including new turbochargers and fuel system revisions,” Berube said in a Chevrolet manufacturer release. “Work on all of that started last year and this first track test is an exciting yet anxious time for the engineers that toiled over and tortured the new bits to push the performance level up while maintaining the competitive advantage in reliability Chevrolet has had in 2012 and 2013.
“The engine change-out mileage increases from 2,000 to 2,500 miles in 2014 so achieving a 25 percent increase in life simultaneously with a performance increase is the holy grail of engineering development.”
Most of the Team Penske testing this offseason has focused on Juan Pablo Montoya as he reacclimatizes back to IndyCar after a several-year hiatus. Meanwhile teammate Will Power, who ended 2013 on a roll with three wins in the last five races, described the process of working through the first test of the year.
“Obviously we have the 2014 spec of the engine so just going through a few teething problems so we didn’t get that much running this morning,” Power said. “It is the first test of the year, I get (to) run with Helio (Castroneves) and Juan (Pablo Montoya) and I think it will be a good year. I think we’ve all got pretty good feedback and work together to get a better car.”
Montoya said he was struggling a bit with the balance while Castroneves thanked Chevrolet for the improvements, and praised the team’s ability to gather feedback and data for all three cars.
Besides the Penske trio, Chip Ganassi Racing’s quartet (Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Ryan Briscoe, Charlie Kimball), single-car entries from KVSH Racing (Sebastien Bourdais), Ed Carpenter Racing (Mike Conway) and Panther Racing (Carlos Huertas) also tested on Friday. A.J. Foyt Racing’s Takuma Sato was the only Honda runner.
Further Chevy-only tests will occur in February at Auto Club Speedway, in Fontana and Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.