CHAMPCAR/CART: Magneti Marelli Debut at Nazareth

Complete Magneti Marelli System Will Debut at Nazareth MONTVALE, N.J. (Feb. 27, 1998) -- Magneti Marelli, Mercedes-Benz and Ilmor Engineering, the race-engine building arm of Mercedes, have decided the complete Magneti Marelli electronics and...

Complete Magneti Marelli System Will Debut at Nazareth

MONTVALE, N.J. (Feb. 27, 1998) -- Magneti Marelli, Mercedes-Benz and Ilmor Engineering, the race-engine building arm of Mercedes, have decided the complete Magneti Marelli electronics and fuel management system for Mercedes-Benz CART Championship cars will make its race debut at Nazareth, PA., April 26. The Nazareth event is the fourth of 19 races in the CART FedEx Championship Series, which opens at the Miami-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex March 15.

"We believe the long-term benefits of the system are worth the short-term development challenges we are facing now," said Paul Ray, vice president of Ilmor Engineering. *The decision to phase-in the full system is due to the complexity of introducing a new electronic system, which has more components than an entire Mercedes-Benz IC108E engine.

"Marelli began development on the system in May of last year, which is an extremely short time frame for a system of this level. There was just not enough on-track time to make sure each component is completely race ready," said Ray. "Some Marelli components will debut at Homestead while aggressive testing of the complete system is ongoing. This process is normal and not unexpected when preparing new components."

"This is part of our continuous development to stay ahead of the competition," said Ray. "Last season, for example, we slowly and deliberately introduced what we called our "Phase Two" engine. Our teams practiced and qualified very successfully with the new version of the engine for quite a while before we chose to race with it. This decision is no different. Once the complete Marelli system is in place, it will be an ideal complement to our new engine."

The teams will use a traditional dashboard for the first three races. When the complete Magneti Marelli system is in place, it will provide advanced instrumentation through a dashboard mounted in the steering-wheel of the Mercedes-powered cars, and include features such as real-time telemetry, rapid engine mapping architecture and a huge number of customization options for individual teams and drivers.

"Although the technology for our CART electronics system comes from our highly successful Formula One program, the system we developed for Mercedes-Benz and Ilmor is totally new and custom-made to meet their needs," said Tom Hyder, lead CART engineer for Magneti Marelli. "When it is ready, our system will provide more data, flexibility and control for the teams and for Mercedes."

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Series IndyCar