Pop-off valve truce coming soon?

Sources from the three engine manufacturers that compete in the CART Champ Car series have revealed that a compromise for the pop-off valve spacer situation could be announced as early as Monday

Pop-off valve truce coming soon?

Toyota was very unhappy about Honda's successful appeal of the pop-off valve spacer that CART mandated with immediate effect at Detroit on June 15. The decision of a three-judge appellate panel was for CART to suspend usage of the controversial 3/4-inch spacer until August 8.

Toyota racing boss Lee White sent an angry letter to CART, hinting that the manufacturer would protest the result of the Toronto race if it proceeded without the spacer. Toyota then leaked that letter, along with CART CEO Joe Heitzler's response, to RaceFax.

However, Autosport.com has learned that the spacer will return for good at next week's Michigan 500 after conciliatory discussions between CART and the engine manufacturers. Honda has maintained all along that its chief grievance was with the way the spacer was implemented, and not with the spacer itself. And now that it has had four weeks to work with the spacer, Honda may believe it has made its point and has declared its willingness to accept the spacer for the rest of the season.

In return, Toyota has agreed to end its public campaign to have the decision reversed.

"CART is working with its partners Ford, Honda and Toyota to resolve the situation," said CART spokesman Mike Zizzo. "We hope to have an announcement early next week."

Honda cars took five of the top six positions in Friday practice at Toronto.

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