IRL: GM extends IRL agreement

INDIANAPOLIS, April 3, 2001 - General Motors has extended its agreement to provide engines for the Indy Racing Northern Light Series through at least the 2005 racing season. Joe Negri, IRL/Road Racing Group manager for GM Racing, announced today...

INDIANAPOLIS, April 3, 2001 - General Motors has extended its agreement to provide engines for the Indy Racing Northern Light Series through at least the 2005 racing season. Joe Negri, IRL/Road Racing Group manager for GM Racing, announced today that GM will continue to develop the championship-winning IRL Aurora V8 through the 2001 season, and will design a new GM engine to meet the rule revisions that will take effect in 2003.

"General Motors strongly supports the Indy Racing League's philosophy of controlling costs, promoting close competition and encouraging technology that is directly related to production vehicles," said Negri. "The IRL engine rules for 2003 that were announced today are in harmony with these principles. GM is enthusiastic about the future of the IRL, and we look forward to continuing to compete in the series as an engine supplier in the years ahead."

GM has supplied the major components of the Oldsmobile IRL Aurora V8 engine to IRL teams since the introduction of the series' naturally aspirated engine formula in January 1997. Oldsmobile engines have won 38 IRL events, scored four consecutive Indianapolis 500 victories and swept the IRL championships for four straight years.

Toyota will join GM and Infiniti as an IRL engine manufacturer in 2003. "GM welcomes the competition, and we are delighted that other manufacturers recognize the validity of the IRL concept," said John Middlebrook, GM vice president and general manager, Vehicle Brand Marketing and Corporate Advertising. "Increased participation by manufacturers will benefit the series and all of its stakeholders, from fans and track operators to drivers, teams and sponsors. We wish our competitors success - but not too much."

"Our announcement today confirms GM's long-term commitment to the Indy Racing League and Indianapolis Motor Speedway," said Negri. "We intend to maintain GM's standing as the preeminent manufacturer in the series by designing and producing engines with exceptional performance, reliability, durability and quality. GM Racing also intends to set the standards for outstanding customer service and technical support in the IRL.

"GM Racing will introduce the next step in the continuous evolution of its IRL development program with an updated engine package for next season," Negri revealed. "GM's branding and sponsorship plans for 2002 will be announced at the end of the year - and there may be some surprises in store."

The IRL Aurora V8 racing engine that currently competes in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series is based on the architecture of the production Aurora V8, a member of GM Powertrain's Premium V engine family. This engine platform is the foundation for GM's global racing program that also includes the Cadillac Northstar LMP in international endurance racing and Opel Astra V8 coupes in the European DTM road racing series.

GM Powertrain conceived the Premium V engine family as world-class powerplants for the performance-luxury segment. These "state-of-the-art engines for top-of-the-line cars" offer advanced technical features, including lightweight aluminum block and cylinder head castings, four-valve combustion chambers, chain-driven dual overhead camshafts, and electronic engine management with sequential fuel injection and coil-at-plug ignition.

Values that bring victory on the track to GM and its brands also bring success in business. Teamwork, commitment, flexibility, innovative technology and quick decision-making all contribute to winning in competition and winning in the marketplace.

-GM Racing

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