Chevrolet has had a successful 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season thus far, but the brand still sees areas it can improve in to bring a stronger fight to Honda.
Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud dominated the month of May, winning both the Indianapolis Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500; however, he is one of only two Chevy drivers to have won a race this season. The other is his Team Penske teammate Josef Newgarden, who won at St. Petersburg, Detroit, and Texas Motor Speedway.
With the Indy 500 victory in the bag, Chevy will now be looking to elevate all of its teams in an effort to win the manufacturer’s championship and ensure that Team Penske has the tools to consistently beat the likes of Andretti, Ganassi, and Team RLL, and win the driver’s championship.
“Everyone at Chevrolet was very proud of winning our 11th Indianapolis 500, and we had a spectacular month of May,” IndyCar program manager for Chevrolet Racing, Rob Buckner, told IndyCar.com in a recent interview. “However, there are some areas we need to continue to work on, with only two drivers winning so far in 2019.”
Bucker stressed the importance of ensuring its powertrain package is competitive on all three of the circuit types IndyCar visits.
“Every discipline is just as important in the second half when you consider we will be going to another superspeedway at Pocono, a street circuit in Toronto and then a new road course at Laguna Seca that is a double-points event and will decide the championship,” he added. “We will be carefully reviewing data from the first nine events and polishing the details for the final eight.”
While engine development is limited in IndyCar, Chevrolet can still work on track-specific areas of improvement through simulation.
“What we are seeing this year is that every aspect of the race weekend needs to be near perfect to get a win,” Buckner said. “We play a big role in that with engine performance and options for our drivers, and then the race strategy, pit stops and driving all have to be near flawless to be in contention. We will be working on engine drivability and simulation for each race really carefully.”
The NTT IndyCar Series season continues with the REV Group Grand Prix on Sunday, June 23rd.