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Coulthard gets engine boost

David Coulthard is set to be given a massive boost in his hopes of staging a surprise for Red Bull Racing this year, with high-level sources telling autosport.com that the team's engine supplier Cosworth is about to unleash its most powerful modern-day engine

Although Cosworth's future in Formula 1 had been subject to doubt following Ford's withdrawal from the sport at the end of last season, the buy-out of the operation by Champ Car boss Kevin Kalkhoven and a re-organisation of its structure under managing director Tim Routsis appears to have paid dividends.

On the back of some impressive recent testing performances from Coulthard in testing with the RBR1, sources close to Cosworth claim that its engine designers have pulled off a miracle this winter and dramatically upped its engine power - despite the need for power-units to last for two race weekends.

The sources claim that the TJ2005-specification engine that RBR will start the season with is producing around 910bhp - which is as good if not better than some of the big name manufacturers who are publicly proclaiming how strong their engines are. Further steps are expected by the start of the European season, when Minardi will also have access to the engines.

It is understood that the 910bhp figure is up to 45bhp more than last year's Cosworth engine was producing - at a time when several engine manufacturers have struggled to match last year's results because of the change in engine regulations.

Furthermore, the jump in horsepower has not come at the expense of engine reliability. Although some teams are struggling with reliability, with Honda most famously having yet to complete the magic 1300km distance required for two race weekends, Cosworth engine has already completed 1800km on the dyno - 200km more than its own target of 1600km.

Although no-one at Cosworth was available to speak publicly about the figures, one course close to Red Bull Racing said: "Cosworth has developed a Formula 1 engine this season that is in excess of 45bhp up on last year - and we have only had to limit our engines by around 5bhp to achieve engine life. Cosworth is back post-Ford and marching forwards very clearly."

On the back of the promising results from its 2005 engine, Cosworth has also already put its 2006 V8 engine on the dyno, and initial reports suggest it could be producing around 850bhp - which is almost certain to make it a very attractive proposition for potential future customers.

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