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Series mandates twin-turbos for 2014 engines

In an effort to ensure parity between its engine manufacturers, the IndyCar Series has moved to make the use of twin turbocharger systems compulsory in 2014.
The IZOD IndyCar Series announced Thursday that a change in the championship's engine rules will make twi turbochargers compulsory with effect from the start of the 2014 season.

The decision was made in consultation with IndyCar's Engine Committee, and is intended to ensure that the engines used by teams in the series are more evenly matched in future.

"In an effort for parity throughout the turbocharger range, mandating only a twin-turbo system simplifies our efforts to ensure even closer competition," said Derrick Walker, IndyCar's newly-appointed president of competition and operations.

Chevrolet has been using a twin turbo system since returning to IndyCar competition at the start of last year. Honda, which had been the exclusive engine supplier to the series from 2006 until 2011, opted for a single turbocharger system when the engine specifications changes ahead of 2012.

It was soon clear that Chevrolet enjoyed a big power advantage during the early part of the year, to the extent that the Honda camp was forced to petition to be allowed to make changes to their engines mid-season in line with an IndyCar Series rule designed to promote equality of competition. Chevrolet challenged the decision to allow Honda to fit a new compressor cover upgrade to address the issue, but lost on appeal.

Even so, the imbalance in performance between the Chevrolet and Honda engines has been apparent into 2013, with the Chevy teams displaying a clear overall speed advantage on oval tracks. The difference has been less noticeable on street and road course events, and Honda have been able to make up some of the lost ground by relying on their engines' superior fuel conservation which has allowed teams to make fewer or better-timed pit stops during races for strategic advantage.

Even so, the burden placed on turbocharger suppliers BorgWarner to ensure that neither single- nor twin-turbo camp steals a march on the other has led to the IndyCar management to take action and enforce a standardisation to address the matter once and for all moving forward.

"What it will do is make the engines more similar in how the turbos are making power," said Chris Berube, Chevrolet's program manager for its IndyCar activities. "It will be ultimately be the spirit of competition that will inspire competitors to push for more power."

Although the change will mean more work for Honda - and possibly put them on the back foot again at the start of the 2014 season, just as they recently got back to winning ways with Ganassi's three back-to-back victories with Scott Dixon at Pocono and Toronto - Derrick Walker insisted that the rule change was supported by both Honda and Chevrolet.




Related Pictures

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A.J. Allmendinger, driver of the #2 IZOD Team Penske Chevrolet, will start in 10th position for Sunday`s Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt for Chevrolet)
Honorary starter Susie Wheldon waves the green flag for the start of the Honda Grand Prix of St Petersburg - Sunday, March 24 2013. (Photo Credit: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies third Friday, July 11, 2014 for Saturday`s race at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa.  (Photo by Brett Moist/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Briscoe (left), driver of the #8 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, talks with teammate Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 TNT Energy Drink Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, during qualifying Friday, July 11, 2014 for Saturday`s race at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Briscoe qualified fourth, Kanaan second and teammate Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 won the pole. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 celebrates winning the pole Friday, July 11, 2014 for Saturday`s race at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Dixon will start in the front row with teammate Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 TNT Energy Drink Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, who qualified second. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 wins the pole Friday, July 11, 2014 for Saturday`s race at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Dixon will start in the front row with teammate Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 TNT Energy Drink Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, who qualified second. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon on course during practice for the Iowa Corn Indy 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates taking pole position for the Iowa Corn Indy 300 presented by DEKALB at Iowa Speedway on Friday July 12 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates taking pole position for the Iowa Corn Indy 300 presented by DEKALB at Iowa Speedway on Friday July 12 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates taking pole position for the Iowa Corn Indy 300 presented by DEKALB at Iowa Speedway on Friday July 12 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates taking pole position for the Iowa Corn Indy 300 presented by DEKALB at Iowa Speedway on Friday July 12 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates taking pole position for the Iowa Corn Indy 300 presented by DEKALB at Iowa Speedway on Friday July 12 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates taking pole position for the Iowa Corn Indy 300 presented by DEKALB at Iowa Speedway on Friday July 12 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya enters Turn 1 during practice for the Iowa Corn Indy 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The Team Penske crew of Juan Pablo Montoya simulate a pit stop during practice for the Iowa Corn Indy 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay waits on pitlane prior to practice at Pocono Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Justin Wilson and Charlie Kimball go side-by-side for the start of the Pocono INDYCAR 500 (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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