No. 1010
August 21, 2019

About The UjianNasional

Author, commentator, influencer. "The Consigliere." Editor-in-Chief of .

Peter DeLorenzo has been in and around the sport of racing since the age of ten. After a 22-year career in automotive marketing and advertising, where he worked on national campaigns as well as creating many motorsports campaigns for various clients, DeLorenzo established on June 1, 1999. Over the years DeLorenzo's commentaries on racing and the business of motorsports have resonated throughout the industry. Because of the burgeoning influence of those commentaries, DeLorenzo has directly consulted automotive clients on the fundamental direction and content of their motorsports programs. DeLorenzo is considered to be one of the most influential voices commenting on the sport today.

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By Peter M. DeLorenzo

Detroit. The announcement that IndyCar would be adapting hybrid assist to its rules package for 2022 was inevitable. What does it mean? A 50HP electric jolt to the rear wheels, but with no muting of the sound of the current IndyCar racing package. That means we will have 900HP Indy cars that will still be exceedingly demanding to drive, which is a very good thing. Traditional Indy car fans were concerned that if IndyCar went this route, it would destroy the appeal of the series, but those fears are unfounded. 

Why was it inevitable? In order to retain interest in a series that continually delivers low TV viewing numbers (except for the Indianapolis 500), IndyCar had to not only appease its two participating engine manufacturers - Chevrolet and Honda - it had to make a strong appeal for additional manufacturers, and that begins by having hybrid-assisted power. It's where the automobile industry is going on the way to transitioning to electrification. This does not mean, however, that IndyCar is eventually going the way of Formula E, that soulless interpretation of an actual racing series. No, it means that IndyCar is making a long-term investment in its future, and the manufacturers have stated emphatically that this move is necessary for their continued participation. So there's that.

But there's even more reason to do it. IMSA is adopting similar rules for its top prototype class in 2022 as well, which means that all of a sudden IndyCar will open itself to additional manufacturers who can see spreading their hybrid technology across the two major league racing series. And even NASCAR, which moves at a glacial pace when it comes to change, is seriously contemplating a move to hybrid power. (It will probably be five years behind the other two American racing series, but at least the powers that be in Daytona Beach are thinking about it.) 

The bottom line in this discussion is that the move to hybridization will be essential for the continued survival - let alone growth - of IndyCar and IMSA. And the most crucial thing to me is that this move will not negate the sound of racing, which is why Formula E remains an abhorrent aberration to me and always will be.

Racing enthusiasts should be pleased - and relieved - with this development. It means that the sport will be around for a long time to come.

And that's the High-Octane Truth for this week.


(Photo by Dave Friedman)
Sebring, Florida, March 26, 1966. Ken Miles prepares to go back on track after his final pit stop in the open-top No. 1 Shelby American Ford GT-X1. He and co-driver Lloyd Ruby dominated the 12 Hours of Sebring for the victory.