CHAMPCAR/CART: Magneti Marelli Advancements

Magneti Marelli Contributes Advancements To Overall Mercedes-Benz Package PLYMOUTH, Mich. (March 8, 1999) -- Magneti Marelli, the automotive supplier based in Milan, Italy, contributed several improvements to the electronics and fuel management...

Magneti Marelli Contributes Advancements To Overall Mercedes-Benz Package

PLYMOUTH, Mich. (March 8, 1999) -- Magneti Marelli, the automotive supplier based in Milan, Italy, contributed several improvements to the electronics and fuel management system for the 1999 Mercedes-Benz engine package used by five teams in the CART FedEx Championship Series.

Marelli's revolutionary system, which debuted on Mercedes-Benz Champ car engines in 1998, has undergone continuous development along with the IC108E engine since last year. Improvements include:

· The speed of the engine control unit (ECU), which contains an exclusive, high performance Motorola computer chip, was increased to more quickly handle the 240 channels of information constantly travelling throughout the electronics system.

· New software was developed to increase the performance of the LCD screen located on the Marelli steering wheel. Last year, Mercedes drivers had a choice of three custom screens of information. This season, drivers can scroll through six screens, while eight more screens will allow the engineers to access information when the car is not on the race track.

"The improvements made by Magneti Marelli are significant for two reasons," said Paul Ray, vice president of Ilmor Engineering, the race-engine design and manufacturing arm of Mercedes-Benz. "First, the improvements make the overall package better for our teams in terms of performance and reliability. Second, and this is one of the main reasons we decided to form a partnership with Marelli, they are as committed to continuous development of their system as we are to our engine.

"In the past, it wasn't unusual for CART teams to use the same electronics package for four or five seasons with almost no changes being made," said Ray. "As competitive as the series has become, you can't afford to work that way. Now you have to constantly strive to stay ahead of the competition. Marelli shares this view, and we've seen the positive results in the off-season."

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Series IndyCar