Hornish gets Michigan engine boost

Chevrolet's new Cosworth-built IRL IndyCar engine wil make its series debut at this weekend's Michigan race, having been given the all-clear by Indy Racing League bosses

Hornish gets Michigan engine boost

The General Motors brand confirmed it would switch to the new powerplant, dubbed the Gen 4, last week. Now the IRL has given special clearance for the V8 to race, even though series rules prohibit mid-season engine changes.

"What we are doing is a major change," said IRL vice-president Brian Barnhart. "Toyota and Honda have raised the bar of competition and it has been clear all year long that Chevrolet has faced a performance deficiency.

"It is in the best interests of all the parties involved that they make this move as soon as possible.

Two-time IRL champion Sam Hornish Jr will race the sole Cosworth Gen 4 this weekend because he has undertaken early development of the engine in his Panther Racing Dallara.

"The first time we ran it was before Richmond (June 28)," Hornish said. "I was like, 'Let's put it in now,' because it was that much better. In my opinion, even if something were to happen, it's better to have it while your running in the front. But that's not the best way to look at it.

"I'm looking for a realistic top three finish and hopefully a win in Michigan. It is definitely a good place to get the Generation IV Chevrolet, because it is more of a horsepower track. You can always do stuff when you're within 20 horsepower, but when you're working with a deficit that's more than that it's hard to get up there.

"I'm not feeling any pressure, but I'd love to go back to victory lane," said Hornish. "Hopefully, with this new engine, it will give us what we need to qualify up toward the front, stay there, conserve some fuel and make a run right there at the end."

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