Gentlemen, start your engines!

Chevrolet is already ramping up for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season. Chevrolet and its affiliated teams have started track testing the new direct-injected, twin-turbocharged Chevy IndyCar V-6 in preparation for Chevy's return to open-wheel competition next year. As previously announced, Chevrolet will supply Chevy IndyCar V-6 engines to Team Penske, Andretti Autosport, and Panther Racing.

Chevrolet and its technical partners have met all of the development targets for the new powerplant.

"In our last media briefing before the Indianapolis 500, I said that the new Chevy IndyCar V-6 would be up and running in June," said Mark Kent, director of GM Racing. "I'm pleased to report that the engine fired up for the first time on June 16, and dyno testing began immediately. Since then we have focused on power development and durability testing to achieve the series' goal of 2,000 miles between rebuilds.

"We acquired a new 2012 chassis from Dallara and completed the installation of the Chevy IndyCar V-6," Kent reported. "The car made its first laps in a shakedown run at Putnam Park near Indianapolis on September 28, and we began track testing at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on October 4."

Chevrolet laid out the third phase of its new IndyCar engine development during a press conference Friday morning, Oct. 14, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Following an initial shakedown at Putnam Park in Indianapolis and a later two-day test at Mid-Ohio – both with Team Penske's Will Power at the wheel – Chevrolet has a “quite extensive” test program scheduled between now and mid-December, said GM Racing director Mark Kent.

“I did 10 laps at Putnam Park, then the two-day test at Mid-Ohio,” said Power (shown). “It was awesome driving out with a turbo – first time since 2007 [when he raced turbo Cosworths in Champ Car]. The test went flawlessly as far as the engine. I did 190 laps and was revving it up well. Illmor and GM's job so far was excellent for the first time, no reliability problems. It was a successful test, and we'll continue to ramp it up and have the engine better.”

The Chevrolet-powered IndyCar made a demonstration run on Saturday, Oct. 15, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. {Ed. Note: The initial oval-track test was scheduled to be conducted at LVMS in the days following the IndyCar season finale, but was postponed after the death of driver Dan Wheldon on Sunday.]

Power's next test will be Nov. 14 and 15 at Barber Motorsports Park. Further full-team engine tests are scheduled at Sebring, Fontana and Homestead.

Andretti Autosport driver Ryan Hunter-Reay drove the IndyCar at Las Vegas Motor Speedway exhibition on Oct. 15.