INDIANAPOLIS, April 5, 2001, Toyota announced on April 3th that beginning with the 2003 Indy Racing Season, they will supply engines to IRL teams. The addition of Toyota to the League was of particular interest to IRL and CART team owner Derrick...
INDIANAPOLIS, April 5, 2001, Toyota announced on April 3th that beginning with the 2003 Indy Racing Season, they will supply engines to IRL teams. The addition of Toyota to the League was of particular interest to IRL and CART team owner Derrick Walker, whose CART team already uses the Toyota powerplant. "Toyota's entering into the IRL is a milestone for open wheel racing and ratchets up the competitive level in the IRL," Derrick said. "We started racing with Toyota this year, and it is clear to us that they will have a competitive product. As to what this does to the status quo between CARTand IRL I don't see anything changing in the short term."
In addition to Toyota's involvement in the IRL, General Motors and Infiniti have also committed to supplying engines through the 2005 race season. Engines will continue to be 3.5-liter, 32-valve dual overhead cam, normally aspirated V8s. Most of the other engine specifications also remain unchanged. Two changes of note to the 2003 specifications include allowing a second fuel injection nozzle per cylinder and allowing camshafts to be chain or gear driven. Adding the second fuel injection nozzle per cylinder will allow for a broader midrange power band, which will facilitate the use of this engine as a dual-purpose powerplant.
"Toyota Motor Sales has stated its desire to win the Indianapolis 500 since it first began plans to enter open-wheel racing in 1993," said Jim Aust, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, vice president of motorsports. "In 2003, we will get that opportunity to win at Indianapolis as well as provide engines for Indy Racing League competition. We are thrilled to be able to compete in the greatest spectacle in motorsports at the Indianapolis 500." Walker Racing IRL driver Sarah Fisher agreed. "I think it's great! The more manufacturers, the better the competition. Our CART team runs Toyota power and that is definitely a consideration for us in the future. And I actually just purchased a Toyota vehicle as my personal car - a Lexus SUV."