Reigning IndyCar manufacturers’ champion Chevrolet will go into this weekend’s Indy Grand Prix at NOLA Motorsports Park with -92 points after receiving several penalties for unsanctioned engine repairs following the opening Firestone Grand Prix St Petersburg.

Chevrolet revealed that a potentially faulty batch of valve springs made for necessary and urgent engine updates that saw them penalised.

“We identified a batch of valve springs that, due to a process change at one of our suppliers, may fracture before the full mileage requirement,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President Performance Vehicles and Motorsports.

“We notified IndyCar of the issue and obtained approval to change the valve springs. Eleven of our twelve engines were updated following the St. Petersburg race. Based on lower accrued mileage, the current plan is to address the 12th engine after the race at Barber Motorsports Park.”

Rule 10.6.4.4 of the series regulations imposes a 20 point penalty for non minor engine repairs, taking Chevrolet’s total penalty to 220 points in the Manufacturers’ Championship standings, the largely little-followed points’ table in comparison to the Drivers’ points rankings – it makes the penalty itself very nominal in nature.

It earned 128 points in St Petersburg, where Chevrolet-powered cars achieved a top six lockout in a race won by Juan Pablo Montoya (pictured, top).

Manufacturers earn points based on their top three finishing positions in each race, along with bonus points for pole and most laps led. They also earn an additional 10 points for each engine that reaches its 2500 mile change out limit.

However, engines that fail to complete their life cycle receive a 20 point deduction, and 20 points are also deducted for an engine that undergoes a non minor repair that requires a component change – the latter is what occurred after St Petersburg.

The penalties mean that Honda now leads Chevrolet by 162 points going into New Orleans, despite only earning 70 points during the St Pete weekend.

Image via IndyCar Series

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Michael Terminello

Journalist at MotorsportM8
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