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Cosworth calls for turbo extension

Cosworth Racing executives are delighted with the performance of the turbocharged XFE Champ Car engine, which suffered no major failures during three days of full-field testing at Sebring International Raceway this week.

The XFE has met all performance and durability targets and Cosworth has delivered 42 engines out of a pool of 100. Cosworth is set to equip the field throughout 2003 and '04 before CART institutes a new chassis and engine formula, likely to be a gasoline-powered V10. But Cosworth's Champ Car technical director Bruce Wood believes keeping the turbo formula through 2006 would make more sense.

"We think the new formula should be put off until 2006," Wood stated. "People are going to say, 'Well of course they do because they have a vested interest.' But what I feel is if you're a manufacturer looking to come in and spend 10s of millions of dollars to do this, you have a responsibility to your shareholders to look at CART for the next 12 months to see where it actually goes.

"We all genuinely believe that it's turned the corner and is on the way up toward growing into a great thing, or else we wouldn't be here. But you have to look at where we've been in the last few months and look at the next twelve months to see how the TV ratings and things like that improve.

"So I think CART has the responsibility of not asking the manufacturers to take it on trust. They have to prove it's going to be great, and in twelve months time, it would be too late for anybody to commit for 2005. The last thing we want to do is get to the middle of 2004 and not have anybody committed for 2005."

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