Chevrolet Indycar at Indianapolis: End of Day Test Report

  • Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 17 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, completed the Rookie Orientation Program (ROP) at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 26, 2024.
  • Larson turned a total of 72 laps during his ROP session on track Thursday at IMS, his best lap speed coming at 217.898 MPH.
  • Will Power of Team Penske and Alexander Rossi of Arrow McLaren represented Chevrolet at the famed 2.5-mile oval, working with INDYCAR to test their hybrid unit on the 2.2-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine.
  • David Malukas, who recently joined Arrow McLaren and Team Chevy, will take to the track behind the wheel of the No. 6 Chevrolet. Testing will resume at 9 a.m. ET Friday at IMS.

Alexander Rossi, driver of the No. 7 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet – Driver Media Availability Transcript:

Q. Before the big day, you were able to get in testing. How cool is that to have a project to work on in October?

ALEXANDER ROSSI: It’s great. It’s exciting to obviously have new technology in the series. Any time you get to come to the Speedway, as I’ve said many times, it’s a great day.

 

We were blessed with beautiful weather in October, so it’s going to be a great day for evaluating what we have with the hybrid and understanding kind of the pros and cons of how it works.

 

Q. The most important thing you’re trying to take away from this?

ALEXANDER ROSSI: Just getting laps, man, getting mileage under our belt, understanding the limitations of the system, areas where we got to adjust what we know is normal based on what it’s doing.

 

But so far the morning was very smooth. I think we’re getting a clear understanding of how things are developing once we get into running this afternoon.

 

Q. Is this the first day running?

ALEXANDER ROSSI: Yes.

 

Q. How busy are you? How active?

ALEXANDER ROSSI: Yeah, you are, but it’s pretty straightforward for the most part. So, I mean, you have a lot of time around here. Really driven on a road course, street course yet, which adds a lot more kind of workload in the manual system. There’s more variables with that. But around the Speedway, you got enough time to do what you need to do.

 

Q. Here you have to use the paddle or button, whichever device you decide to use. That is one more thing you’ve got to be aware of that you have to pull it or hit it?

ALEXANDER ROSSI: Yeah, certainly you’re understanding kind of what your charge is. But at this point, we’re still not really sure what the best optimization of the system is. So right now it’s a lot of experimenting, playing around with different kind of theories. There’s a lot of (indiscernible) to go through in the next several months before we come back to the Speedway.

 

Like I said, I think it will have more of an impact in group running. When you’re just running around flat out by myself with all the downforce on, like, it’s not doing a whole lot.

 

Q. You had more horsepower but more weight. Are you getting more speed?

ALEXANDER ROSSI: No, it’s certainly not faster.

 

Q. It’s not often that something this new has come around. To be on the front end of this, is there extra excitement?

ALEXANDER ROSSI: There is. Sustainability has been a thing for the series, partners, manufacturers, teams. I think we’ll have had some amazing initiatives from renewable fuel from Shell, the new tire from Firestone. This is the next step in that progression, which is very needed in today’s kind of market, if you will.

 

It’s exciting for the series to kind of be on the forefront of that and also for us as a team to kind of have access to the system this far in advance. It’s a good thing.

 

It’s still only the second outing, third day, that Arrow McLaren has run the hybrid, but still evaluating a lot of very critical information that will help us next year.

 

Q. It’s not faster, you say. Does it have a potential to be as you continue to work through this or…

ALEXANDER ROSSI: I don’t think anything’s really optimized yet. 30 laps, so it’s hard to say.

 

Q. How about this new teammate? Have you had a chance to talk to him yet?

ALEXANDER ROSSI: I missed him yesterday. But, I mean, I talked to him when he was here during the month of May. I’ve actually known him since we were kids. I know he’s very excited obviously about the opportunity. It’s very cool for us to have him on the team, to be a part of him attempting to do the double. It’s pretty special.

He’s the right guy for the job. I think he’ll add a lot of different input and insight that maybe open-wheel INDYCAR drivers don’t necessarily think of.

 

Q. Were you a Jeff Gordon fan as a kid? What’s it like to have him as part of Arrow McLaren?

ALEXANDER ROSSI: I don’t know that I was really — I didn’t watch much Cup. I obviously knew who Jeff Gordon was. He was the rainbow car, right?

 

He’s obviously an icon the sport, someone I’ve actually gotten to know really through my time in Europe, believe it or not, because he was an advocate for having an American in F1.

 

Amazing guy. Amazing what he’s accomplished in his career. Now he’s the guy in charge of Hendrick Motorsports. Pretty amazing thing.

 

Q. What is it like to get to know Rick Hendrick?

ALEXANDER ROSSI: I look forward to meeting him. I haven’t gotten there yet. I got the opportunity at the end of last year through NAPA to actually go see Mr. Hendricks private car collection, which is one of the coolest field trips I’ve ever done in my life.

 

That was awesome, but obviously looking forward to having the whole Hendrick family and team involved with us through the month of May.

 

Q. All-Star (indiscernible), do you race a little bit different?

ALEXANDER ROSSI: I don’t know. I think we’re still trying to figure out what, like, the format is actually finalized and going to be. I think there’s been a couple ideas.

 

I talked about it for a long time. These golf tournaments, these big values, that always drives a little bit of extra interest. People are going to see are you going to race differently because it’s for money, not a championship. I’m curious, as well.

 

It’s going to add a new dynamic. Obviously everyone at Thermal was incredibly welcoming when we went there for the open test. It will be good to get back.

 

Q. You’re going to have a new engineer next year. Do you know who that is?

ALEXANDER ROSSI: I don’t know.

Will Power, driver of the No. 12 Team Penske Chevrolet – Driver Media Availability Transcript:

Q. You’ve been a veteran of hybrid testing. A lot of miles at Sebring. You probably have as much experience at this thing as possible. How does it feel here?

WILL POWER: I’ve not had that many laps here. That’s what really matters, is the regen-ing and the draft from all the cars. We’ll see that.

I can’t see there will be any issues. I mean, it’s pretty straightforward. You pull the paddle, you press a button.

 

Q. But it’s one more tool you have to manage inside the cockpit.

WILL POWER: I have to say, like, in qualifying, you’re going to be pretty busy on that first lap. Pretty sure you regen on that lap, decide when you deploy. Between that, the weight jacker, switching the fuel slot, and the bars, yeah, pretty busy qualifying.

 

Q. Between the extra horsepower, the added weight, several drivers have said it does not equate into more speed.

WILL POWER: No, not this year, not next year it won’t. It’s got more capability, but I think reliability comes first. Creep up on the amount of power that we use and deploy.

 

Q. Maybe this is something you’re still working through, but right now do you know what the longest (indiscernible) deploy of that extra horsepower is, if that’s a constant thing or something that’s fluctuating?

WILL POWER: You can play with that a lot actually. You can have a lot of power for a short time or you can spread that out. I think on road and street courses, you pretty much get all the way through fifth gear, which is a key area of getting power for lap time.

 

Yeah, that’s all stuff you can really play with a lot. The series can, yeah. Just depends how much they want to utilize it.

 

Q. Push to pass, if I’m right, the previous system, was 100% for however many seconds you wanted.

WILL POWER: Yeah.

 

Q. This will be more personalized?

WILL POWER: Yeah, yeah. You’ll still have push to pass as it was. Yeah, it won’t be any different. You’ll still have that button. This thing is just adding more power. I’m hoping that it’s used out of every single corner on a road and street course just for more horsepower.

 

Q. How many times a lap here do you think you’ll be regenerating?

WILL POWER: Yeah, well, as soon as you’re in the draft of someone, you’re going to be regenerating. Then you’re going to be trying to time that deploy of what you want to pass. Maybe you’re not going to get him and switch off and regen again, wait for a better run.

I think that will be really based on how you’re running. Yeah, I think you’ll try to keep that tank full. Instead of hitting the limiter or lifting, you’ll grab the paddle to regen. Yeah, it will just be a constant changing thing.

 

Q. When you lift or when you regenerate, will it take some touch? I don’t want to do it too much, I’ll lose the draft. Is that something where it’s important?

WILL POWER: Yeah, I think you’ll have to judge your draft. Like, that will just be as if you were lifting. I mean, it’s always different, depending on where you are, how the car is struggling in front, is it not, trying to hang on to the pack. There’s so many variables that go on when you’re out there.

 

Q. As a driver, do you like that?

WILL POWER: Oh, yeah, we’ll see when we run. It’s, yeah, part of the game, another tool that you’ve got to be good at, pretty smart with the way you use it.

 

Q. The idea of how do you do a lot of this testing for Chevy is because of two systems available. All that information is being sent out to all the Chevy teams. You being able to use this and run lap after lap this last month or so, do you feel inherently by having more days in the car, you will have an advantage having more time using the system in the early days?

WILL POWER: I think the way they’re going to use it on road and street courses, it’s not going to matter. The auto regen, won’t have too much interaction with the driver. To me, it’s a good thing.

 

I think, yeah, they’re still playing with the rules, because you may have it where you have auto regen and deploy, but you also have the ability to pull the paddle. Instead of getting into the hard limiter in top gear, you use that as a regen tool.

 

Yeah, it’s still a lot of stuff to go through. Yeah, I mean, I have had a lot of miles in that thing. I think if you’re having to pull that paddle, it would be an advantage because that is quite awkward on a road course to be grabbing that, hitting it every time out of a corner.

 

I don’t think that will be the case. The last test we weren’t doing that. It was auto everything. I think they’re still kind of trying to understand how best to use it, which I think the best way to use it is to get the most out of it for lap time, which is using it as much as we can.

 

At first, it’s going to be reliability.

 

Q. (Indiscernible).

WILL POWER: Well, I did a couple days here, too. I’ve done quite a bit. I mean, honestly, my teammates have not wanted to do it. They are doing Petit Le Mans, that’s why they’re not here. They’ve had conflicts. Yeah, I’ve been getting a lot of the days. They’ve got some days coming up here, yeah.

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