The following is a news release on the new Oldsmobile Indy Aurora V8 which was unveiled this weekend at the Indy Racing League event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. You'll also find information on Oldsmobile's IRL contingency award program for 1997, and a separate release on Carroll Shelby's new Aurora V8-powered sports car.
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Thanks! Rick Voegelin High Performance Communications
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OLDSMOBILE INTRODUCES INDY AURORA V8
Four Engine Suppliers to Build Aurora Engines for 1997 Indy Racing League Series
Las Vegas, Nev.; September 14, 1996 -- Oldsmobile unveiled its new Indy Aurora V8 today in the first public showing of the engine that will compete in the 1997 Indy Racing League series. The new methanol-burning Indy Aurora V8 is based on the production 4.0-liter, 32-valve DOHC Aurora V8 which is available exclusively in Oldsmobile's flagship luxury performance sedan.
"On January 4 we announced that Oldsmobile would celebrate its 100th birthday by competing in the 1997 Indianapolis 500," said Oldsmobile General Manager John Rock in a press conference at the MGM Grand Hotel. "Some people said we couldn't do it. But just 254 days after that announcement, the Indy Aurora V8 is ready for testing!
"The Indy Aurora V8 has a great pedigree," Rock noted. "The IMSA version of the Motorsport Aurora V8 was the first American engine in 30 years to sweep the Daytona and Sebring endurance races. Oldsmobile has already clinched the GTS Drivers and Manufacturers Championships for the second straight year, and we're leading the World Sports Car championship with one race to go. We intend to continue the Aurora V8's success next year in the Indy Racing League."
The IRL version of the Motorsport Aurora V8 will make its competition debut at the Indy Racing League event in Orlando, Fla., on January 25, 1997. This will be the first race contested under the Indy Racing League's new 4.0-liter naturally aspirated engine formula.
Assembled Indy Aurora V8 engines will be available initially from four engine builders: Katech, Inc. (Mt. Clemens, Mich.); Rocketsports Evolution (Lansing, Mich.); Roush Technologies (Livonia, Mich.); and Team Menard (Indianapolis, Ind.). As required by IRL regulations, race-ready Indy Aurora V8 engines will be available for $75,000 each.
"One of our major considerations in selecting engine builders to assemble the initial production run of Indy Aurora V8 engines was their ability to supply customers for a full season of IRL competition," said GM Motorsports IRL/Road Racing Group Manager Joe Negri. "We are committed to supplying engines for half the field in Orlando, and we anticipate that additional teams will use Aurora V8 engines in 1997."
The major components of the Indy Aurora V8 -- the aluminum block, cylinder heads, and covers -- were designed by General Motors. Delco Electronics manufactures the engine controller, and internal components such as pistons, crankshaft, and valves are produced by a worldwide group of aftermarket suppliers.
"It has taken a tremendous effort by Oldsmobile, our allied GM divisions, and a network of aftermarket suppliers to design and build a new racing engine in the short period of time since the IRL engine rules were finalized," commented GM Motorsports IRL Program Manager Ed Keating. "We have already successfully completed a 500-mile durability test in a dyno simulation of the Indianapolis 500 with a methanol-burning IMSA Aurora V8. Now we're ready to start testing the first Indy Aurora engines."
A new era for Oldsmobile and Indy car racing is about to begin.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OLDSMOBILE ANNOUNCES IRL CONTINGENCY AWARD PROGRAM
Las Vegas, Nev.; September 14, 1996 -- Successful Indy Racing League teams that use Oldsmobile's advanced Indy Aurora V8 engine will reap more than fame and glory. They will also receive contingency awards from Oldsmobile based on their on-track performances.
Details of Oldsmobile's IRL contingency award program were released today in a press conference held at the MGM Grand Hotel. A victory with the Indy Aurora V8 will earn a $10,000 award from Oldsmobile. A $25,000 bonus has been posted for a first-place finish at the 1997 Indianapolis 500. Winning the pole at an IRL race brings a $2500 reward -- except at the Indy 500, where the pole is worth $5000.
Other benefits of Oldsmobile's contingency award program for IRL teams include the use of Oldsmobile vehicles, technical support from GM Motorsports, and test days.
"Oldsmobile's IRL contingency award program is consistent with our motorsports philosophy," said Oldsmobile Specialty Vehicle Manager Dennis Weglarz. "Instead of supporting one or two 'factory' teams, Oldsmobile will reward the teams that do the best job on the track with the Indy Aurora V8 engine.
"Our goal is to make the Indy Aurora V8 the engine of choice in the IRL series," Weglarz added. "We believe the Aurora V8's proven performance and reliability are qualities that will appeal to top teams. This contingency award program is one more incentive for a front-running team to use the Indy Aurora V8."
Oldsmobile instituted a similar contingency award program in the IMSA road racing series in 1996. That program has been highly successful, with Aurora racers scoring four World SportsCar victories and eight GTS-1 wins in nine events.
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E-mail from: Rick Voegelin, 15-Sep-1996