George discusses engine future

The Indy Racing League will announce its 2007 season rules for engines by mid-2005, said Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Tony George during his appearance at the Society of Automotive Engineers Motorsports Engineering Conference in Detroit

George discusses engine future

With rumours swirling in the wake of General Motors' announced departure from the IRL, George is discussing a new rules package with manufacturers designed to make supporting the series more appealing. At this point, all options are on the table, said George.

The IRL began with production-based engines, but as it has moved to pure race engines speeds have accelerated, prompting calls for a return to production-based engines.

"Production engines are very good for road racing, but they are not as good for ovals," said George. But he added that the final decision could go either way, depending on what potential participants want.

"Production engines are something that we will look at and consider as part of the process," he said. However, he noted, the danger of building a series around production engines is what to do if the manufacturers that build those engines pack up and go home.

"If all the manufacturers pull out, we need something we can go racing with," said George. Specialty racing engine builders like Cosworth and Ilmor could easily fill that gap, which is part of the appeal of purpose-built engines.

The IRL's primary goals for the new engines are stability and cost containment, George said. Rules written with those goals in mind should make the series more attractive to manufacturers and teams alike. The IRL has had "one very productive meeting with one manufacturer" regarding participation in the series, and has another expressing interest in the series, but with whom he has not yet met, George added.

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