The Verizon IndyCar series, along with competing manufacturer’s Honda and Chevrolet, are expecting the 100th running the Indianapolis 500 to attract some additional teams to the legendary 2.5-mile rectangular oval next May. As RACER’s Marshall Pruett reports, Honda and Chevy split the 34 IndyCar entries in 2015 down the middle, with 17 teams representing each brand, but the manufacturers are expecting more orders for engines and aero kits to flood in ahead of the race’s centenary running in 2016.
More teams could not run in 2015 as the amount of engines and aero kits available was limited. As part of their plans for 2016, both Chevy and Honda will account for the potential influx of teams wishing to run in the 100th Indy 500. Despite this, program manager for Chevy’s IndyCar ventures, Chris Berube, said the amount of aero kits and engines available next year won’t grow by a wide margin.
“Frankly, the supply of the actual aero kit bits was a bit behind where it needed to be this year, and we do have an upper limit on the total quantity of engines we could do,” Berube told RACER. “But I would imagine that we’d be in a better position to support more next year. The exact number is TBD. And we wouldn’t supply an engine without an aero kit or vice versa. It’s a package.”
Vice president of Honda performance development, Steve Eriksen, said the earlier a team interested in participating in the 100th Indy 500 reaches out to one of the manufacturers, the better.
“Each additional engine costs us money, and although we know to keep a bigger number in mind, I think will be a challenge if there are a lot more entrants next year,” Erikesen said. “The earlier we’re made aware of how many are really intending to race next year, the easier it will be to figure out how many we can realistically handle.”