IndyCar
R
Birmingham
16 Apr
Next event in
48 days
23 Apr
Next event in
55 days
R
Texas
30 Apr
Next event in
62 days
R
Grand Prix of Indianapolis Race 1
14 May
Next event in
76 days
28 May
Next event in
90 days
R
Detroit
11 Jun
Next event in
104 days
R
Road America
18 Jun
Next event in
111 days
R
Mid-Ohio
02 Jul
Next event in
125 days
R
Toronto
09 Jul
Next event in
132 days
06 Aug
Next event in
160 days
R
Grand Prix of Indianapolis Race 2
13 Aug
Next event in
167 days
R
Gateway
20 Aug
Next event in
174 days
R
Portland
10 Sep
Next event in
195 days
R
Laguna Seca
17 Sep
Next event in
202 days
R
Long Beach
24 Sep
Next event in
209 days

Chevrolet: Improving Indy 500 performance has been priority

Chevrolet’s IndyCar program manager Rob Buckner says that retaliating after a Honda-dominated Indy 500 in 2020 has been Chevy’s focus in the offseason.

shares
comments
Chevrolet: Improving Indy 500 performance has been priority

After winning with Team Penske-Chevrolet in both 2018 (Will Power) and 2019 (Simon Pagenaud), just one Chevy-engined car made it into the Top 12 in qualifying for last August’s delayed 104th running of the Indianapolis 500, and the best Bowtie performer on raceday, Penske’s Josef Newgarden, finished only fifth.

The Chevy drivers didn’t quite have the power of the Hondas at 1.5-bar turbo boost for qualifying – although Ed Carpenter Racing’s rookie Rinus VeeKay excelled himself with fourth – nor did they have the fuel mileage at 1.3-bar on race day. While the best Chevys could match the best Hondas for power at the reduced boost level, they had to lean out their fuel mixture sooner into a stint.

Asked if he felt Chevrolet and Ilmor Engineering had addressed their engines’ deficit to Honda Performance Development at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Buckner told Motorsport.com: “It was definitely our top priority for 2021, addressing Indianapolis. We think we have a good plan – although we approach saying that with caution because Indy is its own undertaking for us and our rivals.

“I think 2021 will be interesting because I think there’s a bit less running. Less testing and practice means how you unload from your pre-event preparation is even more important.

“So we hope what we’ve done is enough, but you have to tackle Indianapolis in a very, very humble way because that track can always cause surprises.

“The 500 defines any IndyCar entrant’s season from a success standpoint, not just for drivers and teams and sponsors but for engine manufacturers too. It’s a three-hour event that overshadows everything else, so it’s definitely been a main focus for us.

"I’m looking forward to it because I think all of the technical group on the Chevrolet side of things has done a really good job of looking back at 2020 and finding out what we can learn from it in preparation for 2021.”

Although a late August date for the 2020 race means that Chevy will have had three months fewer in which to make its improvements for Memorial Day Weekend in May, Buckner regards that with equanimity.

“The Covid-19 implications on our series are the same for everyone,” he observed. “I try to not look at that as an excuse because last March or April, we were all just waiting and hoping to go anywhere to race.

“So 2020 wasn’t great for us as a brand, but looking at it from the point of view of any unbiased person within the paddock, and Chevrolet being part of the sport, to run the number of races we did (14) in the season, I regard it as a success, all things considered.”

Coyne partners with Rick Ware for two IndyCar entries

Previous article

Coyne partners with Rick Ware for two IndyCar entries

Next article

O’Ward tops 14-car IndyCar test at Sebring

O’Ward tops 14-car IndyCar test at Sebring
Load comments

About this article

Series IndyCar
Event Indy 500
Author David Malsher-Lopez
Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight? Prime

Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight?

With Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up, 2021 could be the year Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet joins the IndyCar elite, writes David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team Prime

Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team

Over 37 seasons, Dale Coyne has run no fewer than 80 Indy car drivers – including himself! Ahead of his first season running Romain Grosjean, we asked Coyne to pick the best 10 drivers ever to compete for him. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 10, 2021
Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed Prime

Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed

Last Friday, Marco Andretti announced he is withdrawing from fulltime IndyCar racing. David Malsher-Lopez explains how this third-gen racer was a puzzle in the car, but a straight shooter off-track.

IndyCar
Jan 19, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Is the mighty McLaren M16 the greatest ever Indy car? Prime

Is the mighty McLaren M16 the greatest ever Indy car?

When founder Bruce McLaren died in June 1970, his team could have folded. Instead, his loyal band rallied to produce a string of winners - including an Indy car game-changer that won three Indy 500s in six years.

IndyCar
Dec 23, 2020
How Newgarden delivered his best season, yet still lost Prime

How Newgarden delivered his best season, yet still lost

Josef Newgarden was our pick as top IndyCar driver of 2020 but his finest season-long run of performances failed to yield the championship. David Malsher-Lopez explains why.

IndyCar
Dec 18, 2020
2020 IndyCar Review and Top 10 drivers of the year Prime

2020 IndyCar Review and Top 10 drivers of the year

David Malsher-Lopez explains how the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series was unlike any other, and why it featured familiar and unfamiliar faces competing for glory.

IndyCar
Nov 27, 2020
How Dixon won his sixth IndyCar title, in his own words Prime

How Dixon won his sixth IndyCar title, in his own words

Chip Ganassi Racing’s newly crowned six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon takes us round by round through his remarkable season. David Malsher-Lopez listens.

IndyCar
Nov 4, 2020