INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 25, 2001) -- Infiniti, the luxury division of Nissan North America, Inc., announced that Bernard Dudot, one of the most successful technical directors in the past decade of Formula One engine development, will join Infiniti...
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 25, 2001) -- Infiniti, the luxury division of Nissan North America, Inc., announced that Bernard Dudot, one of the most successful technical directors in the past decade of Formula One engine development, will join Infiniti Motorsports as Indy Racing Program Manager.
"Bernard brings a wealth of experience and engine design expertise to the program," said Steve Kight, director of marketing and motorsports for Infiniti Division. "We were late introducing the new Infiniti Indy 35A this year, and having Bernard join us now will accelerate our program development."
Dudot, who will be based in Indianapolis, will manage the future technical direction of the program, and coordinate with race teams, Infiniti engineers in Japan, and the Race Engine Division of TWR Group. TWR recently joined Infiniti to handle the engine development and provide technical support to teams using the Infiniti engine in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series.
"I have seen first hand this month that the Indianapolis 500 and the Indy Racing series are a terrific challenge," said Bernard Dudot, Infiniti Motorsports, Indy Racing Program Manager. "The Infiniti engineers have designed an excellent engine in the 35A, and it is quite impressive what TWR has been able to do in a very short period of time. I am fortunate to be able to join such a strong team, and I look forward to contributing to the development of a winning program."
As technical director of Renault Sport from 1980 to 1997, Dudot was part of the dominant Renault V10 engine program which won six constructor's titles and four driver's titles in the Formula One World Championship. Most recently, Dudot worked as technical director of the Prost Grand Prix F1 team.
In 1983, Dudot worked closely with current Infiniti driver Eddie Cheever Jr., who finished a career-best sixth in the F1 standings driving for the Renault factory team. The 1998 Indianapolis 500 champion, Cheever, started using Infiniti engines in April 1999.
"The most successful year I ever had in Formula One was when I was driving for Renault and Bernard was in charge of the engine program, " said Eddie Cheever Jr., who gave Infiniti its first Indy Racing victory last season at Pikes Peak. "The experience he brings in open-wheel racing and his winning record is a big step forward in the technical depth of Infiniti's Indy efforts. His influence will have a dramatic effect on our program."
The announcement was made during a press conference at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway just two days before the 85th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 27.
Infiniti Motorsports has three drivers that have qualified for this year's Indianapolis 500. Robbie Buhl in the No. 24 Team Purex Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Infiniti will start ninth; Scott Goodyear in the No. 52 Thermos Grill2Go Infiniti starts 16th; and Eddie Cheever Jr. in the No. 51 Excite@Home Infiniti starts 25th.