IZOD IndyCar Series announced Friday that Chevrolet will partner with the sport's legendary Team Penske race team for a return to Indy car competition in 2012.
The Penske cars will have a new twin-turbocharged direct-injected V-6 engine using renewable E85 ethanol fuel that will be built jointly by General Motors and Ilmor Engineering. Team owner Roger Penske,a partner with Ilmor, is the first owner to commit to the new power plant giving the series two engine manufacturers (also Honda) for the first time since 2005.
"With a competitor on the race track, we're going to see the game move up,'' said Penske, who is credited with brokering the negotiations that brought Chevy back to open-wheel racing.
Team Penske driver and three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves, who won his first two Indy 500s (2001-2002) driving a Chevrolet, joined a Who's Who's list of the sport's most celebrated drivers past and present, team owners and Chevrolet executives at the announcement in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum.
"Turbocharge is back, baby,'' Castroneves said. "It's about fun and as a driver it will be enjoyable again. And as a fan, they are going to see competition. You'll cheer whatever manufacturer you're looking for. It's a win-win situation.
"We are going to create excitement again and make people want to come back.''