Dakar Rally Competitors Embrace IndyCar’s New Hybrid Era

    As the IndyCar series continues its transition into the hybrid era, drivers have been eagerly anticipating the debut of the new powertrain technology. This past weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the highly anticipated hybrid unit finally made its race weekend debut, and Pato O’Ward of the Arrow McLaren Chevrolet team was among the first to experience its performance.

    The new IndyCar hybrid system combines a 2.2-liter twin-turbocharged V6 internal combustion engine with a supercapacitor-based hybrid system, featuring a low-voltage (48V) motor generator unit (MGU) and an energy storage system (ESS). This setup, along with the push-to-pass function, provides drivers with over 800 horsepower to utilize during the race.

    “You can definitely feel it when you engage the deploy,” said O’Ward, who is currently sixth in the 2023 IndyCar championship standings. “It’s obviously not as big as I think people are thinking in terms of lap time, but I think the system is capable of so much more.”

    The 25-year-old Mexican driver only managed to log 11 laps during the opening practice session, with a best time of 1m07.8407s, placing him seventh overall. The session was impacted by mixed weather conditions, limiting the running time for drivers to fully explore the capabilities of the new hybrid system.

    “Different to us, we have to manually deploy,” O’Ward explained. “If you get out of sequence and you have to manually regen, there’s limits to how much you can regen and limits to how much you can deploy, so there’s a lot of limits that we need to work through.”

    The introduction of the hybrid technology is a significant step forward for the IndyCar series, and it will be interesting to see how teams and drivers adapt to the new challenges it presents. As the season progresses, we can expect to see the teams and drivers working to optimize the use of the hybrid system, potentially unlocking even greater performance gains.

    ๐Ÿ”— Source