The 2.2-liter, turbocharged V-6 engines from Chevrolet, Honda and Lotus are fueled by E85. The fuel capacity is 18.5 U.S. gallons. Horsepower will be about 660 for the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit.
All three will be factors in how the IZOD IndyCar Series’ season-opening race unwinds.
Mike O’Gara of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing is eager to receive fuel maps and develop a race strategy for rookie driver Josef Newgarden that includes the number of pit stops under green/yellow. A fuel map is derived from the engine control unit receiving input from sensors plotting a specific point on an imaginary graph. The computer is programmed to tell the fuel injectors what to do at that point on the fuel map, and it sends out the appropriate message.
“Usually before a race weekend, we’ll do a tentative race plan as far as number of pit stops, sets of new tires we have to run,” O’Gara said. “We don’t have a good read yet on what type of fuel economy we’ll have from our Honda race engine. We’ll have to adjust our plan throughout the race weekend and potentially our plan will have to be dynamic as far as lean running and how the yellow lap scenarios play out. We got kind of spoiled the last few years because we knew what to expect. We’re starting from scratch so we’ll see how it goes.”