ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – INDYCAR’s four primary manufacturers – engine/aero kit partners Chevrolet and Honda, tire partner Firestone and chassis partner Dallara – have all announced multiyear extensions during a press conference on Friday at this weekend’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
While none of those manufacturers would be pressed on the exact year of their extensions, multiyear is believed to mean at least through 2020 with the potential it is longer than that.
At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, Dallara was announced for an extension through 2020. This meant that even if Dallara was not to be selected as the manufacturer of INDYCAR’s new 2018 universal aero kit, the base Dallara DW12 chassis would be pressed into service for three further years beyond 2017.
In the same month, INDYCAR also announced a multiyear extension with Firestone, whose prior contract ran through 2018.
Honda’s last announced contract extension was at the IndyCar media day in February 2016, which was for two years (2016-2017) with a three-year option (2018-2020). Although Honda did not confirm that portion today, the confirmation of an extension here implies a sync up with at least 2020 per that option length, and with the Dallara date confirmation in January.
Chevrolet does not comment on the length or exact dates of its extensions except to say multiyear. But their confirmation today is good news to ensure the series maintains engine competition for the forthcoming years.
Both Honda’s Art St. Cyr and Chevrolet’s Mark Kent stated for the record they would welcome a third manufacturer, although from a signing, building and developing an engine standpoint, it’s highly unlikely one would arrive before 2019.
St. Cyr, Kent, Dallara’s Stefano De Ponti, Firestone’s Lisa Boggs and INDYCAR’s Jay Frye were all present at today’s announcement in St. Petersburg.
A further analysis of the extension with quotes will follow in due course.