President of Hond Performance Development David Salters says the organization has mitigated the issue they suffered before qualifying for the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge last weekend and did not foresee the problem rearing its head again.
I’m a racing guy. We have done everything we can to mitigate these issues, fortunately. One of the differences is some parts supply things. There is a difference between INDYCAR compared to other racing. So, I worked with two cars in Formula One for 15 years. You flap around a lot looking after two cars. We are looking after 17 vehicles.
As you can see from the qualifying, this thing is right at the edge. When we are racing, the competition is hard racing. These are developed engines. You are constantly trying to do that. But, every so often, we may have over a season; effectively, imagine you’ve got 17 cars, and then you need engines that you can change, and then you go into the next race. So, you have a big pool, which means that quality becomes critical, and you are not just making two cars; you are making 17. It’s always a battle for us, and it’s a battle for the other ones (Chevrolet). Occasionally, someone drops the ball, and we must pick it up.
So, am I confident we have done everything possible to mitigate it? I am also a racing guy, and I know you can never be 100 percent satisfied, as anything can happen. So, I would be humble and say we’ve done much work to sort it out, but am I completely secure? We’ll see, won’t we?
Asked about what HPD with their partner teams in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, Salters told us that there are three areas where the team wants to work: to make the cars faster, more fuel economy, and perfect drivability. So, when we speak to a race team or chassis guy for my Indy, I will have more power, less fuel economy, and excellent drivability, so we are constantly working on that.
Speaking about introducing the new hybrid power unit next year, Salters says he is excited for two reasons. Electrification is something. We need to be responsible for the future. We are excited to be a part of that. Salters also explained that he is excited about the new, young engineers who have brought a fresh perspective to HPD and new ideas. The automotive industry is changing, and motorsport can be a part of that. We are helping develop the hybrid system with GM and Imor, and that’s exciting.
It’s new stuff, and we are still learning about it. Of course, it will have its issues, but we will get that sorted out quickly. We should be developing new technology.