IndyCar: Chevrolet clinches 2014 manufacturer’s title with 2 races left

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After winning 10 of the first 16 races in the 2014 season, Chevrolet has captured their third consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series manufacturer’s championship.

Contributing to the title with race wins are: Team Penske’s trio of IndyCar points leader Will Power (St. Petersburg, Detroit Race 1, Milwaukee), Helio Castroneves (Detroit Race 2), and Juan Pablo Montoya (Pocono); Ed Carpenter Racing’s Mike Conway (Long Beach, Toronto Race 2) and Ed Carpenter (Texas); KV Racing Technology’s Sebastien Bourdais (Toronto Race 1); and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon (Mid-Ohio).

Chevrolet Racing director Mark Kent said the following in a statement released today:

“Winning the 2014 IndyCar Series manufacturers’ championship with the Chevrolet IndyCar V6 twin turbo-charged direct-injected engine is the result of a collaborative and cooperative effort by our teams and technical partners. Chevrolet, Ilmor Engineering, Hitachi, GM Racing Powertrains, Pratt & Miller Engineering and all of our Chevy teams worked tirelessly on creating the combination of performance, reliability and efficiency required to win this title. Congratulations to everyone whose contributions have made this third consecutive championship possible.”

Last year, Chevy won the manufacturer’s title and the Indianapolis 500 with Tony Kanaan, but Honda got the driver’s championship with Dixon. Over the off-season, however, Dixon and the entire CGR outfit jumped to Chevy, which gave the Bowtie two of IndyCar’s “Big 3” teams.

The third member of that group, Andretti Autosport, made their own switch from Chevy to Honda. Andretti has since pitched in three wins for Honda this year (all by Ryan Hunter-Reay), while Simon Pagenaud of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has posted two wins and rookie Carlos Huertas of Dale Coyne Racing has his upset from Houston Race 1.

Brown: Dennis would have made same decision on McLaren-Honda split

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Zak Brown believes former McLaren team boss Ron Dennis would have made the same decision to cut ties with struggling Formula 1 engine partner Honda had he still been in charge at the team in 2017.

McLaren executive director Brown helped engineer a deal for the team to split with Honda at the end of the 2017 season after three tough seasons that had seen the Japanese manufacturer offer little in the way of performance or reliability.

The decision split opinion, with McLaren spurning a significant annual financial injection from Honda in order to link up with Renault, believing its on-track fortunes had to be prioritized over its commercial interests.

In an interview with Sky Sports, Brown was asked if he believed Dennis – McLaren’s long-running team chief before stepping down at the end of 2016 – would have made the same decision to cut ties with Honda.

“I think he would have,” Brown said.

“He was here when those conversations were ongoing and I think Ron always has and always will have the best interests of McLaren in his heart.

“He is Mr. McLaren. It burns him inside as much as us not to see us winning races.”

Brown also elaborated on the decision to break off the much-lauded relationship with Honda, saying the first signs of trouble with the 2017 power unit were clear in pre-season.

After a number of attempts to try and rectify the situation, Brown and his fellow team bosses felt there was no alternative but to end the Honda deal for 2018.

“We knew we were in trouble in testing in Barcelona and we worked really hard for six months to try and find solutions that would give us confidence that we’d be much more competitive in 2018,” Brown said.

“Ultimately, after trying many different things and many different ways we felt we couldn’t get there.

“Three years is a long time in Formula 1 and so we needed to change the direction to get our team back at the top.”