Chevrolet will return to American open wheel action in 2012 after they confirmed they, together with Ilmor Engineering, will develop a twin-turbocharged, direct injected V-6 engine for the IndyCar Series.
The famous marque previous raced in Indy competition from 1983 to 1993 and 2002 to 2005. In that time Chevrolet scored 104 wins and produced six driver champions and seven Indianapolis 500 winners – including six consecutive victories beginning in 1988.
The only Indy win to fall outside that streak was Helio Castroneves' 2003 win with Team Penske. Three other Indy wins and 31 of those total wins, came with Team Penske who were confirmed as the first team to partner Chevrolet, though the new engine will be available to every team in the championship.
“Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been a proving ground for manufacturers since Louis Chevrolet, our co-founder, first raced here in 1909,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet Marketing. “Our return to IndyCar as Chevrolet enters its centennial year is natural. At the same time this engine program will be a showcase for the efficient, and powerful, engine technologies that parallel new Chevrolet vehicles like the Camaro, all-new Cruze compact and Equinox crossover.”
“Our vision is to design, build and sell the world's best vehicles – and racing is one of the best ways to showcase what we can do,” added Tom Stephens, GM vice chairman, Global Product Operations. “Re-entering IndyCar racing will help us take our advanced engine technology to the upper bounds of what's possible. And it will also provide a dynamic training ground for engineers, who'll transfer the technologies we develop for racing to the products we sell to our customers.”
The announcement makes Chevrolet the first new engine maker to confirm a presence in the series for 2012, joining Honda, who are currently the sole engine supplier to the pinnacle of American open wheel competition.
“We are excited to have engine manufacturer competition again in the IZOD IndyCar Series, beginning in 2012,” said Randy Bernard, CEO of IndyCar. “Chevrolet brings a strong passion for racing, technology, relevance and innovation, which is a great fit for our new car platform. We are excited about the future of IndyCar racing with the addition of Chevrolet.”