The IZOD IndyCar Series has further clarified its policies regarding how the new 2.2-liter turbocharged engines that will enter competition with the new Dallara DW12 chassis this season will be allocated and updated over the course of the year.
“The engine rules developed through the IndyCar Engine Committee over the past 20 months. The only significant change was the change in capacity (from 2.4 to 2.2 liters),” Trevor Knowles (ABOVE), IndyCar's director of engine development, told IndyCar.com
. “In the past few Engine Committee meetings, it has been tidying up and clarifications.”
The IndyCar Engine Committee was set up as a consultative group chaired by IndyCar vp of technology Will Phillips and consisting of representatives from each engine manufacturer, a representative from the sanctioning body plus other invited attendees such as BorgWarner, which is supplying the single and twin turbochargers. (Honda utilizes a single turbo for its engine, while Chevy and Lotus have both opted for a twin-turbo arrangement.)
IndyCar will continue to allocate engines supplied from the manufacturers, as was the case with the previous-generation Honda V8s: IndyCar officials will randomly allocate each manufacturer's pool of engines to corresponding teams, to eliminate appearances that one team is favored over another by the manufacturer. IndyCar engine support engineers will also employ and monitor torque sensors on selected manufacturers' engines to ensure compliance with homologation (sealing of mandated components) regulations.
“It's to track that nobody's getting left behind and to track that all their teams are getting equal treatment,” Knowles explained.
On June 18 and again at the end of the year, manufacturers whose engines are statistically more than 2.5 percent deficient in power may, at the discretion of IndyCar, make improvements to be homologated. Alterations are allowed to make up two percent of shortcomings, and they will be introduced on only new engines being sent to the track. Homologation will take place next week, IndyCar says.
Manufacturers can also request changes to engine components and software alterations to the spec McLaren ECU. Information would be shared with IndyCar and the other manufacturers.
“If a manufacturer has a problem with a homologated part breaking or there is some operation that they could eliminate to make it less expensive or they have to change suppliers that would lead to changes in how it's made, they can approach us with a request and we would circulate to the other manufacturers for a check that it's not a backdoor way of increasing performance,” Knowles explained. “If it passes those checks, they would be given the go-ahead to do it.
“Software is similar to an engine modification. They would request a change to get it incorporated. All manufacturers would then have the opportunity to use that software.”