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IndyCar is going hybrid, but is it better to wait for 2025?

IndyCar is going hybrid, but is it better to wait for 2025?

Five years in the making, IndyCar’s long-awaited technological move into hybridization is scheduled to arrive in the summer.

Originally announced to go live at the first race of the 2024 season on March 10 at St. Petersburg, ongoing delays forced the series to push the introduction back to give itself more time to ready the technology for competition. Although the exact date and event has yet to be confirmed, the July 7 visit to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course has been mentioned within the paddock as the most likely venue for the changeover to happen.

IndyCar will welcome a new and innovative energy recovery system (ERS) into the series after 12 years of relying solely on the same turbocharged V6 motors supplied by Chevrolet and Honda to propel its cars.

With the energy recovery systems installed, which follow the same ERS concept Formula One has used for more than a decade, IndyCar will give its cars an added punch of electronic horsepower. The anticipated bump in 2024 is in the 60 horsepower range when drivers depress the activation button on their steering wheels, and there’s a secondary lift to come from embracing hybridization.

Having heard the pleas to modernize its formula, IndyCar is doing itself a long-overdue favor by heeding the auto industry’s needs in bringing technological relevance within the series to better match the technology found on most showroom floors. Despite the late adoption of hybridization, it’s a necessary component in the majority of today’s racing series.

“The general trend of racing is for manufacturers to show off their products in the way that the world is moving, so in light of that, we’re having more hybrid technology and full-electric technology in cars transfers over to racing,” Andretti Global IndyCar driver Colton Herta told ESPN. “It’s mostly because we can find stuff on the racing side that can better help or push the technology further than what they can do on the road. So think of it as [research and development] for car manufacturers with what they do by taking their tech like this into racing. And from the IndyCar side, I think the idea is by going hybrid, we’re moving in the general direction that racing’s moving, and you can possibly have more car manufacturers look at joining us.”

With Herta’s recent experience testing hybrid-powered…

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