A three-person panel has denied the protest filed by Chevrolet regarding IndyCar's approval of Honda's use of a 0.74 A/R compressor cover for its single turbocharger.
The hearing of the protest in Indianapolis, which reportedly lasted some eight hours, was conducted by a panel consisting of Hans Peter Kollmeier, Jim Voyles and Indianapolis Motor Speedway board member Jack Snyder.
"We are gratified that an independent panel has endorsed IndyCar's ruling," said Honda in a statement following announcement of the decision. "IndyCar committed well in advance of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season to structure engine regulations focused on creating parity between competing manufacturers, and this commitment played a significant role in our decision to adopt a single turbocharger configuration for the new HI12RT Honda Indy V6.
"The new compressor cover helps to offset a demonstrable performance disadvantage between single- and twin-turbocharged IndyCar Series engines. We look forward to deploying the new compressor cover to optimize performance of the Honda Indy V6, as we continue to do battle with our worthy adversaries from Lotus and General Motors.''
Chevrolet had protested the allowance made for Honda to introduce a 0.74 A/R compressor cover for its single turbo unit on the grounds that the engines had already been homologated, and that the series' regulations made no provisions for parity-based changes.
Although IndyCar's rule book provided the opportunity for Chevrolet to appeal the matter further, the company said in a statement that it would abide by the panel's ruling, and that it considers the matter closed. Jim Campbell, Chevrolet vp, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports, said in the statement that it is time to move on.
"Chevrolet believed the modification was contrary to the applicable series rules, and asked IndyCar to thoroughly review the issue so that the rules were applied fairly," he said. "We respect the diligence of the panel appointed to hear the protest and examine the situation. While we are disappointed with the decision, we are prepared to continue to compete at the highest level in the IndyCar Series."
Chevrolet, which has won all three 2012 IndyCar races to date with Roger Penske's team, still has the right to appeal the decision further. SPEED's Robin Miller reports that experts believe the new compressor may mean 10-15 additional horsepower for Honda, which runs a single turbo compared to the twin turbos of Chevy and Lotus.
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