Chevy to Replace 11 Engines Prior to Start of Long Beach Grand Prix

April 12, 2012

Long Beach, CA -- In a drastic move only days before the start of the Long Beach Grand Prix, Chevrolet has announced that it will replace the engines in all 11 of its V-6-powered entries in the IZOD IndyCar Series prior to the start of on-track activities this weekend.

The decision was made following the tear-down and inspection of an engine that experienced an issue during an IndyCar-sanctioned test earlier this week at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California.  Judging by Chevy's reaction, the engine problem was more systemic in nature than just the one problem vehicle that was tested.

 “We are still learning the limitations of the new engine controls calibration,” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing IZOD IndyCar Series Program Manager. “Through our testing in Sonoma, as indicated by an engine issue, we uncovered a problem that we believe could affect all engines. So, as a result, we feel it is prudent to change all engines prior to the start of the on-track activities this weekend.”

The changes will have a significant impact on the 11 drivers, as each will be given a 10 position penalty on the starting grid prior to the green flag.  Under IndyCar rules, the penalty arises for change-outs where the engine has not reached its minimum mileage threshold of 1,850 miles.

“This is certainly a decision that was not made lightly,” Berube said. “We intently discussed the situation with our partners and our teams prior to determining that this was the best course of action to preserve the integrity of the racing in the IZOD IndyCar Series."

The driving teams affected by the change include Penske Racing, featuring Helio Castroneves, Ryan Briscoe, and Will Power; KV Racing featuring Tony Kanaan, Rubens Barrichello, and EJ Viso; Andretti Autosport; and individual entries JR Hildebrand and Ed Carpenter.

Prior to the Long Beach Grand Prix, Chevy has done well in the first two races of the 2012 IndyCar Series schedule, scoring two victories and two poles. Helio Castroneves won the season opener at St. Petersburg, and Will Power won at Barber Motorsports Park.

By Staff of The Daily Sports Herald and Wire Reports

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