Chevrolet appears to have taken a significant stride forward after a successful showing in the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg that kickstarted the 2024 IndyCar season earlier this month.

The challenging 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit saw the bow-tie brand put together a 1-2-3-4 triumph, led by Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden, who led 92 of 100 laps from pole to seize the victory.

The outing showcased significant improvements for Chevrolet, who claimed the 2023 manufacturers’ title despite only winning five races to rival Honda’s 12. Most of its success came on ovals, with Honda being credited with superior drivability and fuel mileage on road courses.

Chevrolet-powered drivers disclosed that it held a series of off-season meetings with teams, resulting in a ‘menu’ of engine-related factors that they desired enhancing for 2024.

Rob Buckner, IndyCar Program Manager for Chevrolet, has now revealed some insight to the areas that have elevated its performance.

IndyCar St. Petersburg: Newgarden wins season opener

“It is no single item, and credit to our teams because they also came back stronger to start 2024,” Buckner told Motorsport.com.

“We continue to add resource to GM Motorsports with our new Charlotte Technical Center, new software tools and some really talented hires. We are completely devoted.

“The Chevrolet engine package is better, our teams are better, and our support to put it all together continues to mature and develop. I am thrilled that we have 16 more opportunities to demonstrate what we are capable of.”

And undoubtedly the impressive results in St. Petersburg provided a boost right out of the gate, although Honda retaliated with victory in the non-points Thermal Million Dollar Challenge last weekend.

“St. Pete was a great start to the year for Chevrolet, IndyCar, and continues GM Motorsports' strong start to 2024,” Buckner said. “It is always good to come out strong and verify that our engineering direction has helped our Chevy-powered teams.

“At the same time, this is race one of 17 and we have a long ways to go. St. Petersburg has historically been a wonderful venue for Chevrolet, another triumph there signifies a lot.

“I am very proud of our engineering group which has grown significantly over the last 12 months with many new folks. It's wonderful to see them get a result and see their efforts rewarded.”

IndyCar St. Petersburg points, results: Josef Newgarden leads Chevrolet  charge into 2024 - NBC Sports

One aspect that cannot be disregarded is the refinements of the current 2.2-liter, twin-turbo V6 engine have also arrived at a time when both Chevrolet and Honda have been thrashing to develop the hybrid technology that is due to debut for the second half of the season.

The process has seen thousands of miles between several test days, with Team Penske and Arrow McLaren handling the preponderance of the running for Chevrolet. Meanwhile, Honda has been represented by Andretti Global and Chip Ganassi Racing.

This past Thursday and Friday saw the remainder of the teams eventually get their respective first looks at the new product.

“It's certainly a challenging year,” Buckner said. “We have been hybrid testing heavily while also considering how 2024 is going to start.

“It's basically two independent programs with their own challenges and everyone is juggling numerous responsibilities.

“What gives me confidence is that our collective group at GM and our partners at Ilmor, along with our race teams, always rise to the occasion.”