IndyCar to use more powerful engines in 2021

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The Verizon IndyCar Series will make use of a new engine formula beginning with the 2021 season.

The updated formula increases the size of the current V-6 twin-turbo engines to 2.4 liters – they’re currently 2.2 liters in displacement – with over 900 horsepower expected to be available when push-to-pass is engaged, and engines will continue with a maximum RPM range of 12,000.

The engine formula is expected to be in place from 2021 through 2026.

Jay Frye, INDYCAR president of competition and operations, explained the decision for more displacement and an increase of power is in response to driver feedback.

“Our drivers have been asking for more horsepower and thanks to the hard work of Chevrolet, Honda and the INDYCAR engine group, they’re going to get it,” Frye asserted in an announcement.

Officials from both Honda and Chevrolet detailed that the engine regulations will nicely align with their marketing and performance goals.

Said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports for General Motors, “The 2.4-liter, twin-turbo V-6 engine formula that will be introduced for the 2021 season will continue to showcase relevant technologies that we incorporate in our production engines. The opportunity to transfer learnings in performance, reliability and efficiency between the racetrack and the showroom is very important to Chevrolet.”

Added Art St. Cyr, president of Honda Performance Development, “The new INDYCAR engine formula should be exciting for the fans and an interesting technical challenge for Honda Performance Development. While the overall architecture remains similar to the current engine, the increased displacement will bring many changes, including a notable increase in power that should please all fans of the sport. In addition, it provides our designers and engineers with an opportunity for significant development, which is a challenge we welcome at Honda.”

Testing of the new engine platform will begin in the summer of 2020.

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AJ Foyt Racing promotes Benjamin Pedersen from Indy Lights to IndyCar for 2023 season

Benjamin Pedersen AJ Foyt
AJ Foyt Racing
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Benjamin Pedersen is the first driver to land a promotion from Indy Lights into IndyCar for next season as AJ Foyt Racing confirmed Wednesday he’ll be part of its 2023 lineup.

Pedersen, a 23-year-old dual citizen of Denmark and the United States, spent last season running the full Indy Lights schedule for HMD Motorsports. Linus Lundqvist, his teammate, won the Lights title, and Pedersen finished fifth in the final standings. Pedersen earned his only win earlier this month when he led every lap from the pole at Portland.

Pedersen also ran four races for HMD in 2021 with back-to-back runner-up finishes in his debut. Pedersen landed on AJ Foyt Racing team president Larry Foyt’s radar through a “trusted colleague” and Pedersen spent most of last season shadowing the IndyCar team.

His promotion to IndyCar comes ahead of all four drivers who finished ahead of him in the Indy Lights standings, including champion Lundqvist.

“We are really looking forward to having Benjamin as part of the team,” Larry Foyt said. “His enthusiasm is infectious, and he is 100 percent committed to IndyCar, AJ Foyt Racing, and doing the best he can to win races.

“It’s been great to have him embedded with the team this past season, and everyone is excited to hit the ground running when testing begins. It is also great to have a multi-year program in place, which will help him and the team grow together.”

Foyt did not announce a car number for Pedersen. Kyle Kirkwood spent his rookie season driving AJ Foyt’s flagship No. 14 but Kirkwood is moving to Andretti Autosport. The team has not yet announced if Dalton Kellett will return for a fourth season, and a third car for Tatiana Calderon was pulled from competition after seven races because of sponsorship non-payment. Shutting down Calderon’s team removed the only semi-regular female driver from the IndyCar field.

Pedersen, however, was signed to an agreement Foyt said “spans multiple seasons as the team plans to develop the young rookie and is aligned to a longer-term plan for AJ Foyt Racing.”

Pedersen was born in Copenhagen but raised in Seattle and currently lives in Indianapolis. He said his time shadowing the IndyCar team has given him a jump on his rookie preparations.

“I’ve spent a lot of time this season with AJ Foyt Racing learning the ins and outs of making the jump to IndyCar and it’s been really nice to do that in conjunction with my Indy Lights season,” Pedersen said. “IndyCar has been my target goal since I started open wheel racing in 2016. The racing, atmosphere, fans, events, tracks, etc. are all awesome.”