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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Chevrolet-IndyCar Announcement Imminent

IndyCar has scheduled an announcement at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday at 10:00 AM Eastern time regarding manufacturer competition in the IZOD IndyCar Series for 2012 and beyond.

This announcement will be a confirmation of Chevrolet's re-entry into the sport, a rumor buzzing around the sport's blogosphere since last week. The famed engine manufacturer exited the series in 2005 after a four-year run that yielded 18 victories and the 2002 championship with Sam Hornish Jr.

The rumors also suggest that, during the 15-minute announcement, Chevrolet will announce alliances with Roger Penske and Ilmor Engineering for 2012 and beyond. Ilmor will produce the 2.2-liter V6 engines for Chevrolet, and Penske will be the brand's top owner, after rumors of an alliance with Chip Ganassi were shot down.

Team Penske was a champion of Chevrolet power in CART in the late 1980s and early 1990s, as the Chevy Indy V8 won every Indianapolis 500 from 1988 to 1993. When the brand left the sport after 1993, engine builder Ilmor continued to build the engines with a Mercedes-Benz nameplate.

Ilmor eventually evolved into Mercedes' high-performance engine division, but founder Mario Ilien and Penske re-established part of the company in 2005 to build engines for Honda. But Honda Performance Development appears likely to build their own IndyCar engines under the new formula, which calls for nothing larger than a turbocharged 2.4-liter V6.

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