CART And Cosworth Racing join to continue turbo era in the FedEx Championship Series with affordable platform. PORTLAND, Ore. (June 16, 2002) - In a move that will keep the CART FedEx Championship Series in touch with its rich racing heritage ...
CART And Cosworth Racing join to continue turbo era in the FedEx Championship Series with affordable platform.
PORTLAND, Ore. (June 16, 2002) - In a move that will keep the CART FedEx Championship Series in touch with its rich racing heritage while addressing the issue of escalating costs, Championship Auto Racing Teams (NYSE:MPH) and Cosworth Racing have reached a two-year agreement that will see the fabled turbocharged Cosworth Racing V8 engine serve as the exclusive powerplant in CART Champ Car competition for at least the next two seasons.
Cosworth will provide a derivative of its current V8, 2.65-liter XF engine for use in CART competition. Following a vote of the public Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. Board of Directors on Wednesday, endorsing management's recommendations, the series adopted the turbocharged engine that will continue to ring at tracks throughout the world. CART opted to rescind the February 2002 decision that CART would adopt a 3.5-liter normally-aspirated engine, in favor of the motor that has made the Champ Car one of the most technologically-advanced machines in all of motorsports. The decision will allow the racing series to maintain the style and level of competition that has allowed it to gain millions of fans across the globe.
The Cosworth engine announcement came in conjunction with the release of CART's new Entrant Support Package for its teams, a groundbreaking program for Championship Auto Racing Teams that will provide more than $1.5 million in assistance per season for each of its competitors in an effort to quell the rising operational costs for the teams.
"We are delighted that we were able to craft this agreement and keep the turbocharged engines running in the CART FedEx Championship Series in this new partnership with Cosworth Racing," said CART President and CEO Christopher R. Pook. "Our supporters had made it abundantly clear to us that they preferred the turbocharged formula to the normally-aspirated option and we are pleased to be able to respond to their concerns with this agreement. This is the first of what we expect will be a number of positive moves that CART will take, at management's initiative, in the near future regarding our engine program and we are delighted to take the first step with a company as prestigious as Cosworth Racing."
The engine will see a number of technical modifications to the current generation of the XF powerplant that will be confirmed in the near future, changes that will be released as development continues. CART and Cosworth Racing are working together to determine horsepower numbers as well as boost control levels. The new engines are scheduled to be ready well before preseason testing begins for the 2003 campaign.
"On behalf of Ford Motor Company, we look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with all our friends in the CART teams in 2003 and 2004," said Niki Lauda, Chairman, Premier Performance Division (Jaguar Racing, Cosworth Racing, Pi Research). "CART will be a great racing spectacle and I look forward to attending my first race as the exclusive engine supplier."
"We are pleased to continue our relationship with CART as its sole supplier of engines for the next two years," said Ian Bisco, Vice President of Cosworth Racing North American Operations. "Cosworth Racing proposed this program late last fall and we are committed to providing an engine that is equal in performance and will produce the competitive and entertaining racing that fans of CART have come to expect. In over 20 years of participating in CART, Cosworth has worked diligently to foster relationships with virtually every team in the paddock. This agreement gives us the opportunity to continue working with our existing teams, reestablish relationships with teams we've worked with in the past and develop partnerships with teams new to the series."
Cosworth Racing will provide a pool of 100 engines to CART and will also support the program by assigning an engineer to each of the teams. The engines will be guaranteed to operate without performance decrease for over 1,000 miles and will come with all necessary electronic and fuel systems as well as the installation kit and wastegate package. The agreement also states that the costs for 2004 will be approximately the same as 2003, allowing teams to plan their racing budgets well in advance.
The news was welcomed by Lauda and other open-wheel racing greats including Emerson Fittipaldi, who not only rode Cosworth power to CART Champ Car victories during the 1980s, but also to numerous victories and two titles in the Formula One competition.
"When I first entered CART in the 1980s, the Cosworth engine was the primary powerplant and the racing was among the most competitive I experienced in my career," Fittipaldi said. "This announcement means that the public and all racing fans will continue to be able to watch the most competitive and fastest racing formula in existence and the competition should return to its former success. This championship will once again showcase the drivers and talent will be more in evidence."
Mario Andretti, who still holds the record for the most poles in Champ Car history along with four series championships and the 1978 Formula One Championship, also echoed those sentiments as he welcomed the move to the Cosworth turbo engines that carried him to many of his 52 Champ Car wins.
"I am fully supportive of CART's decision to continue with turbocharged engines as this formula has provided the foundation for this series for more than two decades," Andretti said. "Turbos give Champ Car racing a distinctive technical feature and, in conjunction with our current chassis, give CART one of the most advanced race car packages in open-wheel racing in the world. The part that I like about the Cosworth package is that we are continuing with high tech, state of the art engines. I have won dozens of races, including my final Champ Car victory, in Cosworth powered race cars and, in my opinion, CART was at its peak in the late 1980s and early 1990s when the Cosworth was the backbone of the series. With this announcement, CART has taken another step in returning to its former glory."
Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the CART FedEx Championship Series. Former series champions Michael Andretti and Jimmy Vasser are among the stars who will battle for the 2002 FedEx Championship Series title on ovals, temporary street circuits and permanent road courses. CART Champ Cars are thoroughbred racing machines that travel at speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour, showcasing the technical expertise of manufacturers such as American Honda, Ford Motor Company, Toyota, Lola Cars, Reynard Motorsport and Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, LLC. The 20-race 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series will be broadcast by new television partners, CBS, FOX and SPEED Channel. CART also owns and operates its top development series, the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship. Learn more about CART's open-wheel racing series at www.CART.com.