The 97th Running of the Indianapolis 500
When the green flag falls on the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 26, Chevrolet engines will be powering many of the top drivers in the field.
And leading that field to the green flag: the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray pace car. It’s the 24th time a Chevrolet has paced the field, more than any other brand. And the Corvettes 12 appearances at Indy is a record for a single model, too. “It’s an honor to help inaugurate the all-new Corvette Stingray at the hallowed Brickyard and further the legacy between Chevrolet and the Indianapolis 500,” said Jim Campbell, GM vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports.
Chevrolet’s storied history at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway parallels the Indianapolis 500. Chevrolet was founded in 1911, the year of the inaugural 500-mile race, and the Chevrolet brothers--company co-founder Louis, Arthur and Gaston--all competed in early Indianapolis 500 races. Gaston Chevrolet won it in 1920.
A win at this year’s Indianapolis 500 would be the eighth for Chevrolet, which returned to IZOD IndyCar Series competition in 2012 with the Chevrolet IndyCar twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V6 engine. Chevrolet has already demonstrated its strength in the 2013 IndyCar season, with Andretti Autosport driver James Hinchcliffe taking not only the season opener on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, but the most recent event, the Sao Paulo Indy 300 in Brazil. Hunter-Reay, also driving for Andretti Autosport, won at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama, giving Chevrolet three victories in the four races thus far in 2013.
But the Indianapolis 500 is, of course, the flagship race not only for IndyCar, but for auto racing in general, with global recognition that is unmatched by any single motorsports event. And Chevrolet is aiming for a win.
A win not only for the trophy, but a victory to help further demonstrate the power, durability and the efficiency of the 2.2-liter Chevrolet IndyCar V6. “Racing has always been a great proving ground for advanced powertrain technologies, and this IndyCar V6 is no exception,” said Mark Kent, director of Chevrolet Racing.
The ability to wring massive horsepower from a relatively compact engine is possible using technology that transfers readily to Chevrolet passenger car engines. The IndyCar engine’s twin turbochargers essentially replace cubic inches when it comes to providing extra muscle, the same way turbocharging helps four-cylinder engines in the Chevrolet Sonic and Cruze provide power comparable to bigger engines, but maintain exemplary efficiency.
And the direct fuel injection used in the IndyCar engine is a feature found on multiple engines across the Chevrolet lineup, including the 1.8-liter engine offered in the Cruze, the 2.0-liter engine in the Malibu, and even in the Corvette Stingray’s V8. The ability to reliably deliver maximum power while using as little fuel as possible is a recipe for success, not only on the race track but on the street.
Presently there are 17 Chevrolet-powered drivers on the preliminary entry list for Indy, plenty of them anxious to add their names to the list of drivers who have already won the Indianapolis 500 with Chevrolet, including Castroneves, Emerson Fittipaldi, Rick Mears, Arie Luyendyk and Al Unser, Jr.
Aside from the aforementioned Hinchcliffe and Hunter-Reay, who have already taken Chevrolet to an IndyCar Victory Lane this year, as well as Castroneves and De Silvestro, Chevrolet pilots will include former Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais, third-generation star Marco Andretti, veteran Oriol Servia, IndyCar race winner Ed Carpenter, Colombian star Sebastian Saavedra, rising star JR Hildebrand, Andretti Autosport’s newest addition E.J. Viso, plus proven winner Will Power and past IndyCar champion Tony Kanaan. Also joining Team Chevy for the this year’s big race are 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier, former Champ Car race winner A.J. Allmendinger, rookie contender Carlos Munoz and veteran driver Townsend Bell.
Join Chevrolet as we battle to win the 97th Indianapolis 500 on May 26: If you can’t be there in person, the race coverage starts at noon Eastern on ABC and SiriusXM channel 211.