Chevrolet back in IRL for 2002

American car giant General Motors has announced that it is to re-badge its Indy Racing League Oldsmobile engines as Chevrolets from next year

Chevrolet back in IRL for 2002

GM will continue to supply its existing Oldsmobile V8s until the end of this season, but has decided to bring the Chevrolet marque back to open-wheeled racing after an absence of eight years.

"There is no brand more identified with American racing than Chevrolet," said IRL president Tony George. "As we continue to grow the IRL, Chevrolet will be an important partner to us."

Chevrolet-powered cars took 86 race wins from 1986-93 and notched up five series wins in the CART Championship before the Champ Car/IRL split in 1996.

The 2002 Chevrolet engine will be largely the same as this year's unit, albeit with some specification updates. But a completely new motor is to be introduced for 2003, to fit in with a change in engine rules.

GM's racing group manager Joe Negri said: "With improved efficiency and higher output, the 2002 project will accelerate our development programme as we make the transmission to the new IRL engine rules that will take effect in 2003."

The IRL's engine rules for 2003 have yet to be decided, as have the regulations for the rival Champ Car series. Both championships are expected to be brought into line, with common blocks used and the same engine capacity.

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