Graham Rahal knows how to sell racing.
Higher speeds and more sound.
He believes IndyCar has now checked off both after announcing new, more powerful engines will debut in 2021. Jay Frye, the series’ president of competition and operations, made the announcement Saturday just before Indianapolis 500 qualifying began.
“Fans love the sexiness of the noise," Rahal said after finishing his first attempt with a four-lap average of 225.407 mph. “The car looks great and now you've got the noise. You’ll get all the pops and crackles. To me, it's the ideal scenario.”
Frye said the current 2.2-liter twin-turbo engine will expand to 2.4 liters, and the cars will run with a little more than 900 horsepower _ a boost of roughly 100.
He said what they wanted out of the next generation of engines.
Some of the series younger drivers, such as Rahal, who drives for his father’s team, and Ed Jones, who drives for Chip Ganassi Racing, are thrilled with the decision.
"I think it will be awesome to have more power,” Jones said. “I think more power, that’s something special.”
Chevrolet and Honda are both expected to manufacture the new engines, which are scheduled to be used through 2026. Testing, Frye said, will begin in 2020.