IRL: McLaren Engines return return to Indy Racing

LIVONIA, Mich. (January 16, 2002)--McLaren Performance Technologies (NASDAQ: MCLN) announced today that its McLaren Engines group has aligned itself with the Indianapolis-based Blair racing team to build GM Racing Indy Racing League (IRL) ...

LIVONIA, Mich. (January 16, 2002)--McLaren Performance Technologies (NASDAQ: MCLN) announced today that its McLaren Engines group has aligned itself with the Indianapolis-based Blair racing team to build GM Racing Indy Racing League (IRL) engines. Blair Racing will enter the 2002 IRL series with Dallara chassis and Chevrolet engines. The driver will be Alex Barron, of San Diego, Calif.

"As the original engine development company for Bruce McLaren Motor Racing, McLaren Engines has enjoyed a long heritage of racing success with General Motors' powertrains -- beginning with our multiple Chevrolet-based, Canadian American Challenge (Can-Am) championships, through the front row (pole position) performance of the stock-block Buick V6 at the Indianapolis 500. Most recently, our continued involvement with GM Racing led us to LeMans, where we continue to accelerate as the engine development partner for the Cadillac Northstar Prototype (LMP) racer," said Steven Rossi, president and chief executive officer, McLaren Performance Technologies.

According to Hayden Harris, chairman, McLaren Performance Technologies and co-owner of Blair Racing, "Considering what Tony George and the Indy Racing League have already contributed to the well-being of the sport, it's only natural that McLaren Engines now accelerate its return to Indy as an engine source -- particularly, with a team with such capability as Blair Racing. We very much look to McLaren Engines and Blair Racing as a winning combination."

The Chevrolet IRL engine is a 3.5-liter, 32 valve V8 with double overhead camshafts (DOHC). The normally-aspirated, fuel-injected (methanol) racing engine generates approximately 650 horsepower, with a maximum engine speed of 10,700 revolutions per minute (rpm).

"McLaren Performance Technologies is a strategic partner for Blair Racing, and its long standing, winning tradition will no doubt fortify our position," said Blair Racing co-owner Larry Blair. "Our team is not only proud to be 'Powered by McLaren,' but sees the relationship as a true competitive advantage," he continued.

Wiley McCoy, executive vice president and chief operating officer, McLaren Performance Technologies will serve as IRL project leader for the Livonia-based engineering services provider. McCoy will interact directly with Tom Gloy and John Dick of Blair Racing, who have been named president and team engineer, respectively. Between them, they have delivered numerous race wins and championships in many different forms of racing.

McLaren-built engines have appeared at Indianapolis since the late 1960's, and powered Johnny Rutherford's 500 wins in both 1974 and 1976. In addition, a McLaren-made engine sat on the Indy 500 pole in 1985 with Pancho Carter, when McLaren Engines partnered with the Buick Motor Division to create the stock-block V6 race motor.

McLaren Performance Technologies provides full-service design, development fabrication, manufacturing, testing, validation and certification of automotive powertrains and related components. In addition, it develops and licenses patented traction control technology and has full vehicle development and prototyping capability. The company was established in Livonia, Michigan in 1969, as the engine development company for Bruce McLaren Motor Racing.

This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which are intended to be covered by the "safe harbor" created thereby. These statements include the plans and objectives of management for future operations, including plans and objectives. The forward-looking statements herein are based on current expectations that involve judgments with respect to, among other things, future economic, competitive, and market conditions and future business decisions, all of which are difficult or impossible to predict accurately and many of which are beyond control of the Company. Although the Company believes that the assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements are reasonable, any one of the assumptions could be inaccurate and, there fore, can be no assurance that the forward-looking statements included in this release will prove to be accurate.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Barron , Bruce McLaren , Steven Ross , Tom Gloy , Tony George , Pancho Carter , Johnny Rutherford