Contact: Rick Voegelin High Performance Communications 408-761-2201
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AURORA V8 WINS FIFTH STRAIGHT IRL POLE
Oldsmobile Sweeps Top 18 Spots, Powers 19 of 21 Qualifiers
Fountain, Colo.; June 28, 1997 -- Scott Sharp put A.J. Foyt's Aurora-powered Conseco Indy car on the pole for the inaugural Samsonite 200 in qualifying today at Pikes Peak International Raceway. Sharp extended the Indy Aurora V8's perfect record in Indy Racing League qualifying to five straight poles since the series introduced its new 4.0-liter engine formula in January.
Sharp set the pace with a fast lap of 176.117 mph on the one-mile oval. Tony Stewart secured a front row starting position with a 175.021 mph lap. Stewart previously put the Indy Aurora V8 on the pole in Orlando, Phoenix, and Fort Worth, while Arie Luyendyk was the polesitter for the Indianapolis 500.
"Everyone has noticed that the naturally aspirated engines have a little less power here due to the altitude [5,357 feet above sea level]," Sharp reported. "A.J., Katech, and Oldsmobile got together and worked on the engines since I last raced in Phoenix. Things have really come together. The motor I qualified with today is the same motor that we tested with in Charlotte last week. We didn't touch it; now we'll put a fresh motor in for the race. The engines have obviously come a long way."
Nineteen of the 21 qualifiers -- including the 18 fastest drivers -- used the 4.0-liter Indy Aurora V8. Pagan Racing, the latest team to convert to Oldsmobile, qualified driver Roberto Guerrero in the fifth spot in his first race with Aurora power. The two Infiniti drivers in the field -- Johnny Unser and Jack Miller -- qualified 19th and 20th respectively.
The Indy Aurora V8 is based on the production 32-valve DOHC Aurora V8 engine that is available exclusively in the Aurora luxury performance sedan.
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E-mail from: Rick Voegelin, 28-Jun-1997