INDYCAR Formally Approves Dragon Racing Engine Swap

Sebastien Bourdais begins his 'refresher course' at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Anne Proffit photo

Sebastien Bourdais begins his 'refresher course' at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Anne Proffit photo

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Shortly after Sebastien Bourdais began his shakedown and refresher course in Katherine Legge's No. 6 Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone IZOD IndyCar Series race car around 8 am Thursday morning, INDYCAR formally announced the technical department approved Dragon Racing's move from Lotus to Chevrolet power.

Engines in both Legge's and Bourdais' Indy cars were changed through Wednesday afternoon and overnight, with the team remaining at Indianapolis Motor Speedway until three in the morning.

"We are pleased to see this issue resolved as we had into the final practice days in advance of qualifying (for the 96h Indianapolis 500)," said Randy Bernard, CEO of INDYCAR. "I have to thank all parties for working together to help preserve the traditions of the Indianapolis 500."

While Bourdais began the refresher course early this morning, there were the customary glitches involved, with a boost issue and later a GCU (gearbox control unit) problem that meant the hour and a half allocated to both drivers had to go only to the Frenchman, a four-time-consecutive Champ Car World Series titleholder. He completed the first phase of his refresher by 9:30AM; he may complete a second, final phase during regular Indianapolis 500 practice with other cars on the track.

INDYCAR officials stated they "will make provisions for Legge to begin the Rookie Orientation Program today." Legge completed the first phase of her rookie test by 1PM Thursday afternoon; INDYCAR announced it would allow her to complete the second phase after practice is complete, from 6-6:40PM.

Just minutes after INDYCAR issued their release, General Motors' Chevrolet IndyCar Racing program confirmed, "The addition of Dragon Racing's two cars to the Chevrolet roster for the Indianapolis 500 is a strategic enhancement to our already strong stable of teams and drivers," according to Chris Berube, Chevrolet IndyCar program manager. "The efforts put forth by our combined Chevrolet IndyCar V-6 teams will seamlessly continue for the biggest race of the year."

With the addition of Dragon Racing's two-car squad, the Chevy BowTie Brigade for the Indy 500 includes three entries from Team Penske, five for Andretti Autosport, KV Racing Technology's three cars, one each for Panther Racing and Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and a single entry for Ed Carpenter Racing. This two-car addition brings the Chevrolet roster to 16 of the 33 entries.

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