Official Statement From Infiniti On Recent Open Wheel Racing Engine Discussions Infiniti Strongly Supports Current Indy Racing League Engine Rules Infiniti, the luxury division of Nissan North America Inc., made the decision to supply engines...
Official Statement From Infiniti On Recent Open Wheel Racing Engine Discussions
Infiniti Strongly Supports Current Indy Racing League Engine Rules
Infiniti, the luxury division of Nissan North America Inc., made the decision to supply engines to the Indy Racing League in 1996 because the series offered a valuable marketing opportunity, was competitive, and affordable. This same reasoning continues as Infiniti prepares to introduce a naturally aspirated, 3.5-liter V8 engine to Indy Racing League competition in 2000.
"The 3.5-liter engine specifications announced by the Indy Racing League for the next five years is suited to Infiniti's marketing and competition strategies," said Frank Honsowetz, Manager, Infiniti Motorsports. "Since the rules require a silhouette of a production engine, it is easily marketable for us. The costs are effectively controlled to benefit teams and sponsors, and the package is extremely competitive.
"As far as technology is concerned," continued Honsowetz, "the DOHC, 32-valve, V8 race engine is based on the engine found in nearly all major manufacturer's flagship vehicles. We expect to see 650 horsepower from our engine next year. To have a naturally aspirated engine that produces 185 horsepower-per-liter is a solid example of technology."
While Infiniti supports the current Pep Boys Indy Racing League engine program wholeheartedly, the company realizes that a compromise with the engine manufacturers involved in Championship Auto Racing Teams might be one solution to help the growth in popularity of open wheel racing.
"We welcome the opportunity to compete with Ford, Toyota, Honda and Mercedes-Benz," said Honsowetz. "That is what racing is all about, to compete against the best. We believe the same principles that the Indy Racing League was founded on should be applied to future engine specifications in Indy car racing."
Following are the terms Infiniti has set for an open wheel racing engine program:
1) An engine formula that can be linked to Infiniti products. 2) An affordable engine formula to help manage team budgets and attract new sponsors and teams to the series. 3) Team ownership and control of engines, and the use of private engine builders, so that each team has equal opportunity to gain a competitive advantage. 4) Engine regulations that allow the sanctioning body to control horsepower, to keep the series safe and the competition close.
Infiniti has made a considerable investment in the Pep Boys Indy Racing League, and is well underway in preparing the 3.5-liter Infiniti Indy engine for next year. The agreement to supply Infiniti engines to the Indy Racing League is until the end of 2001.
As with its parent company, Nissan-which has dominated the sports car racing arena for more than 30 years-motorsports is an important element of Infiniti's culture. Infiniti is committed to the success of open wheel racing in the United States and looks forward to building a rich history in the sport.