IRL: Infiniti Indy Orlando Practice Report

On the first day of practice for the Delphi Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Speedway, Infiniti Indy and Team Cheever recorded the 15th fastest time of the day with a 163.800 mph lap (21.978 seconds). Twenty-seven cars participated in practice ...

On the first day of practice for the Delphi Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Speedway, Infiniti Indy and Team Cheever recorded the 15th fastest time of the day with a 163.800 mph lap (21.978 seconds). Twenty-seven cars participated in practice today for the Indy Racing League's 2000 season opener. Team Cheever's No. 51 car is the only Infiniti-powered entry. Qualifying for the Delphi Indy 200 takes place tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN2. The race starts on Saturday, Jan. 29 at noon and will be televised live on ABC. The race broadcast can also be heard live on the internet at www.indyracingleague.com <http://www.indyracingleague.com> . Frank Honsowetz, manager, Infiniti Motorsports: About why Infiniti is using the 90-degree crankshaft instead of the newly-allowed 180-degree crankshaft "Our current 3.5-liter engine is a destroked version of last year's engine and was designed for the 90-degree crankshaft. We could have developed this engine to use a 180-degree crankshaft but since the performance benefit would be minimal we decided to focus our efforts on our all-new '35A' engine. This new engine is designed with the 180-degree crank in mind and will feature many other enhancements such as a lighter weight and a lower center of gravity. If everything goes according to plan we could debut the Infiniti Indy 35A at Las Vegas." Note: The different sound of the Indy cars is directly related to the crankshaft. The Indy Racing League allows teams to use a 90 or 180-degree crankshaft starting with the 2000 season. The new 180-degree "flat" crankshaft changes the engine firing order therefore changing the output of the exhaust pulses, producing a higher-pitched, smoother noise. Eddie Cheever Jr., No. 51 Team Cheever Infiniti/Riley&Scott/Firestone: "We left here earlier this month with questions about the engine. They've been answered. Now, with just a few days in the Riley & Scott, we are sorting out what to do with the chassis. It is interesting to see (Buddy) Lazier's fast time. We are still trying to figure out how the Firestones work with the car. Not the best position to be in. Our whole team and the Infiniti group have worked very hard on the engine's development and I am really looking forward to the '35A' that we should have our hands on in the next few weeks. Infiniti/Nissan is a very proud company and has a history of winning races. I have no doubt that we will win races this year." k

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Eddie Cheever