Chevy’s Chris Berube Looks Back on Four Incredible Years of Indy Racing
For the last four years, it’s really been Chevy’s game in the world of IndyCar racing. Re-entering the fold in 2012 after a seven year hiatus, along with some new league regulations that re-shaped some key aspects of IndyCar design, Chevrolet has since dominated the field with all four manufacturer’s championship wins, a 43 for 68 score in total races, and the top prize at two Indy 500s. Through it all, Chevy’s Chris Berube has led the charge as head of the company’s IndyCar program, and as he prepares to move into a new leading role this year, he’s offered some very insightful words to highlight the most important things he’s learned and the best moments he can remember along the way.
In a recent interview with Motorsport, Berube takes a very interesting look back at the excellent four years of hard work behind him. He prepares now to undertake a senior position at the new Chevrolet engineering group, where he’ll be overseeing test engineering for the consumer car and truck division. With so much to show for his time with Chevy’s Indy team, it’s no surprise that he had plenty of fascinating memories to share.
Known still for an indomitable team spirit and respectable humility, Berube starts off by making it clear that “It’s a team – it takes a village, not an individual – and it starts right from the top.” Naturally, it takes a company-wide effort to create the kind of runaway success that Chevrolet has demonstrated for the past four years. Thanks to an honest investment of time and energy from company leaders in the IndyCar program, Berube says, “the resources have been applied accordingly.”
It also helps to be willing to take things one step at a time. As Berube wisely relates, “…you have to accept it’s never going to go right 100 percent of the time. It’s also about what you do in response to something going wrong.” With this attitude at heart, Berube led Chevrolet on a number of notable come-from-behind wins, truly long-haul efforts that required making some serious sacrifices. “We dominated qualifying at Long Beach,” he remembers, “but all our cars were put back 10 places on the grid,” due to a tough decision to do some early maintenance. Of course, with more thoughtful determination on hand than reactionary ego, slow and steady won out, and Chevy took the top prize of the series.
So, what does Chris look back on as his favorite race? “Well,” he recalls, “I showed up at St. Petersburg in 2012, two weeks into the job.” Fresh out of fandom himself, and suddenly corraling Chevy’s comeback efforts in the Indy world, it’s not hard to believe when he says that “winning that race as IndyCar entered a whole new era was pretty exciting. And Chevrolet wins first race back. That was special.”
“Reliability is an ultimate priority for us, and so knowing our product is essential,” Berube reminds, and we’d like to think that know reliability when we see it, too. Today, Apple Chevrolet salutes Chris Berube on his way to Chevy’s global vehicle dynamics center at Milford Proving Ground in Michigan, with our best wishes. “To be part of that team for the last four years has been a privilege,” he adds, and we can only say that it’s been ours to have Chris on board, too.