Chevrolet has signed a multi-year contract extension with the Verizon IndyCar Series, committing to providing the series with engines and aerodynamic kits for the foreseeable future.
The announcement, which also saw competing IndyCar manufacturer Honda sign a multi-year deal with the open-wheel race series, was made during the season opening IndyCar event in St. Petersburg this past weekend. Chassis supplier Dallara and tire supplier Firestone also signed multi-year extensions with IndyCar over the weekend.
“This is a unique moment in the recent history of the Verizon IndyCar Series,” IndyCar president of operations Jay Frye said in a statement. “To have all of our major manufacturers locked in with us for the foreseeable future points to the fact that they all have bought into the vision for the series.”
“It’s another sign of the positive momentum we continue to build as we grow this sport into the next decade.”
IndyCar will make revisions to its rulebook for 2017 that will see an all-new chassis introduced, replacing the aging Dallara DW12 currently employed by the series. IndyCar officials are hoping to do away with the bulky, ugly bodywork of the current cars and employe a more attractive look that is reminiscent of the wedge-like Dallara IR03/5 chassis used from 2003 to 2012. The new cars will also rely on underbody downforce more, cleaning up the air that flows off the back and allowing drivers to more easily follow each other in traffic, which will in turn create closer racing.
Despite Chevy and Honda’s contract extension, director of motorsport at General Motors, Mark Kent, said he’d like to see more manufacturers join IndyCar. Honda’s president of performance development, Art St. Cyr, also shares this sentiment.
“As we worked this multi-year plan, a lot of it has been about trying to get other manufacturers to join the series. It’s great competing against Honda, but it would be great to also compete against other competitors in the marketplace,” Kent said.
“Same thing. Even when we were sole suppliers to IndyCar for six years, we were actively looking to get more competition, because we want to compete with other OEMs on the racetrack,” added St. Cyr.