Racing debut of Chevrolet Aero Kit in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
* A new era dawns in Verizon IndyCar Series with racing debut of Chevrolet Aero Kit.
* New Aero Kit gives a distinct look to the Chevrolet 2.2-liter, V6-powered cars and differentiates Team Chevy competitors from other manufacturers
* Streets of St. Petersburg (Florida) is race one of 16-race 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season
* Stage set for Chevrolet to begin campaign for fourth consecutive Manufacturer Championship
* Will Power, Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, starts the season with the No. 1 on his car signifying he is the defending series champion
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 25, 2015) – The wait is over. Twelve Chevrolet IndyCar V6 powered teams and drivers will make the competitive debut of the all-new Chevrolet Aero Kit in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Florida) as the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season begins.
Since Chevrolet’s return to the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2012, a Chevrolet 2.2-liter, V6-powered driver has won the season opening race on the Streets of St. Petersburg. Helio Castroneves was the first to put Chevrolet in Victory Lane at St. Petersburg by taking the 2012 win. James Hinchcliffe took Chevy to the Winner’s Circle in 2013, and defending Series’ champion Will Power started his title-winning season off with the win for Chevrolet in 2014 on the 1.8-mile 14-turn temporary street course through downtown St. Petersburg.
“Race one of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar season is nearly upon us,” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager for Verizon IndyCar Series. “It is always an anticipated moment arriving in St. Pete with the plans, strategies and hopes of a season ahead, but this year is special with the racing debut of the Chevrolet Aero Kit. We are primed and ready for Team Chevy to wield the Chevrolet Aero Kit Road Course Configuration in IndyCar competition on the Streets of St. Petersburg.”
One of the primary criteria for Chevrolet’s return to IndyCar competition in 2012 was the ability to design and engineer an aero kit that creates differentiation from the competition. The 2015 Chevrolet Aero Kit distinguishes itself from the previous DW12 racecar with new front and rear wing elements, new “coked”side pods with wheel wedges and a new rear wheels guards. The Chevy road course aero configuration delivers greater aerodynamic performance than the previous design.
“Along with our technical partners, we recognize that assuming control of a larger part of the performance envelope of the car comes with greater responsibility to our Chevy teams and drivers,” Berube continued. “That is why we have worked even closer as a technical team to make sure we have integrated the aerodynamic solution well with our engine and the collective knowledge of our strong team lineup. Our mission remains constant: put all Team Chevy drivers in a position to win at every race. We accomplish this by providing and supporting a powerful, reliable and efficient engine, now with a high bandwidth, fully developed aero kit.”
The 2015 Chevrolet Aero Kit road course configuration’s changes over the 2014 DW12 aero package are easily identified by major components, including:
* Front wing that features new pedestal-mounted “front uppers” toward the outer edges
* New sculpted “wheel wedges” in front of the rear tires
* An engine cover and side pods that have more compact shapes, achieved through a revised turbocharger and exhaust system layout
* New larger rear bumper pods
* A multi-element upper rear wing, along with louvered end plates.
Team Chevy drivers will continue to be powered by the reliable and successful Chevrolet 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged, direct injected V6 engine fueled by E85.
In 2014, engine regulations were changed to require each engine to complete a minimum of 2,500 miles before change-out without penalty, or prior to 2,500 miles if after qualifying they would reach 2,850 miles during the race. In addition, both engine manufacturers were required to use identical, yet revised for 2014, twin turbos from Borg-Warner. Chevrolet worked tirelessly within the allowed parameters in the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series rulebook to work in numerous areas including fuel injection, cylinder heads, plenum / inlet system, exhaust headers and calibration to improve upon an already immensely successful engine.
For 2015, those 2014 upgrades carry over and Chevrolet engineers along with key partner engineers worked to update the 2.2L Twin Turbo Chevrolet IndyCar Series engine as allowed in the 2015 rulebook. The focal points included new electronic wastegates for the turbochargers and integration with the Chevrolet Aero Kit for improved power, reliability and fuel efficiency, which are key characteristics of several current powerful and fuel-efficient Chevrolet production cars.
In addition to a third consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer Championship in 2014, Chevrolet drivers claimed 12 victories in the 18-race season bringing the number of wins to 33 in 52 events since the start of 2012. In 2014, Chevrolet IndyCar V6 drivers scored 13 Verizon P1 pole awards.
Will Power drove his Team Penske Chevrolet to the Verizon IndyCar Championship in 2014, while teammates Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya finished second and fourth in points, respectively. Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan, from Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, finished third and seventh in points, respectively, to give Chevrolet five of the top seven places.
Power, the defending winner of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, is ready to defend his title: “I’m really excited to get the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series started and represent the sport as the champion throughout the year. Even though I was able to break through last year and win my first title, I am preparing to go into this season just as hungry as I was before I became a champion. The drive to win multiple championships is just as strong as the drive to win one. To do that, it’s important to get off to a good start at St. Pete. Winning there last year in the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet was critical to the championship push. Now that I’m in the No. 1 Verizon Chevy for 2015, we need to put the new number in Victory Lane as well.
“As we are starting to understand the new Chevrolet aero kits,” Power continued, “it’s clear that they (Chevrolet and technical partner engineers) have done a proper job in the design and development of them. The kits produce massive downforce, low drag and the cars are absolutely glued to the track. Obviously as we go along in the year we are going to learn more and more about what we need to push for wins.”
The Chevrolet IndyCar V6 driver and team lineup has a few new faces for 2015. At St. Petersburg, Team Chevy will be well represented by:
Luca Filippi, No. 20 Fuzzy’s Award Winning Vodka Chevrolet
Josef Newgarden, No. 67 Hartman Oil Chevrolet
CHIP GANASSI RACING TEAMS:
Scott Dixon, No. 9 Target Chevrolet
Tony Kanaan, No. 10 NTT Data Chevrolet
Charlie Kimball, No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chevrolet
Sage Karam, No. 8 GE LED Chevrolet
KVSH RACING/ KV RACING TECHNOLOGY:
Sebastien Bourdais, No. 11 Team Hydroxycut-KVSH Racing Chevrolet
Stefano Coletti, No. 4 KV Racing Technology Chevrolet
Will Power, No. 1 Verizon Chevrolet
Helio Castroneves, No. 3 Hitachi Chevrolet
Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 2 Verizon Chevrolet
Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet
Fans Can Get Up Close at Team Chevy IndyCar Display
For the second year, the Team Chevy IndyCar display will be on site on the Streets of St. Petersburg. Located in the Fan Midway that runs adjacent to the front straightaway, the display hours of operation will be, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, March 27th; 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, March 28th; and 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday, March 29th. A number of vehicles from the Chevrolet production lineup will be on display including the Corvette Z51, Corvette Z06 coupe, Impala, Malibu, Silverado 1500, Chevy SS, Equinox and all-new Colorado – 2015 MotorTrend Truck of the Year. There will be interactive activities for children and adults alike.
The highlight of the weekend will be the driver visits to the pit box interview area located at the satellite Chevy Racing display located in the Bright House Fan Zone Fans can engage in question-and-answer sessions with Chevrolet’s top IndyCar stars.
On Saturday, fans can interact and ask questions of Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball and Sage Karam from 10-10:15 a.m. In addition, KV Racing drivers Sebastien Bourdais and Stefano Coletti will be at the pit box from 10:55-11:10 a.m. to visit with Team Chevy IndyCar fans.
ESPN on ABC will have a live telecast of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 29. The green flag will fly at approximately 3:30 PM. ET. The IMS Radio Network brings the action live to fans. Both the IMS Radio Network broadcast, and live timing and scoring can be found on www.indycar.com. Radio broadcast can also be heard on XM Radio 209/Sirius Radio 209.