CHAMPCAR/CART: Indy Racing League announces engine specs

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The following is paraphrased from a report by Kurt Van der Dussen, a local writer for the Bloomington Herald-Times, as well as reports from Indy TV stations, so I don't know if the news has hit the wires yet. The Indy Racing League has ...

The following is paraphrased from a report by Kurt Van der Dussen, a local writer for the Bloomington Herald-Times, as well as reports from Indy TV stations, so I don't know if the news has hit the wires yet.

The Indy Racing League has announced engine specs for the new series, set to begin in 1996. The engines will be 2.2L V8 purpose-built racing engines (meaning 4-valve, overhead cam), with a boost limit of 45 in. There will be no alternate formula for "stock-block" engines. The engine regulations will be in effect from 1996-2000. [The current formula for overhead cam engines is 2.65L/45in.]

USAC competition director Johnny Capels said that IRL wanted to reduce speeds, since it will be primarily an oval series. He also said that the new engine formula, coupled with new chassis regulations to reduce downforce (which will be announced in a few weeks) should reduce lap speeds at Indy to "the 200 mph range."

Capels and Jerry Hauer (IRL director of series development) said that present and potential future engine builders were consulted in the process of developing the new formula. Names mentioned included Ford, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Honda, Toyota, Ilmor, and Cosworth.

One Indy TV station had a brief interview with Dick Simon, who was apparently at announcement. He was asked about reducing speeds, and responded with something along the lines of "Well, if thats what they want to do, reducing horsepower is certainly a step in that direction." He was also asked who he thought might field teams in the new series, and he said that some current CART teams might go IRL, as well as some Indy Lights teams, although he didn't name anyone in particular. [An interesting comment, as Simon owns teams in both series.]

rwf

-- Raymond W. Foster Internet: fosterr@indiana.edu Indiana University, Bloomington IN USA

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Series INDYCAR