League reduces speeds

The Indy Racing League is to act to reduce speeds in time for next year's Indianapolis 500 in the wake of several high-speed accidents in 2003

League reduces speeds

According to reports in the American media, the IRL's three engine manufacturers - Chevrolet, Honda and Toyota - will build three-litre engines in time for Indy, although its 3.5-litre units will be used in the opening two races. It is expected that aerodynamic changes will accompany the move, and tyre width could also be addressed.

Speeds in the IRL have made a major leap in recent years, especially since the arrival of the two Japanese manufacturers last year. The pole lap for last year's Indy 500 topped 231mph, but a series of crashes, including that which claimed the life of Tony Renna, has prompted series organisers to make the changes which should drop lap speeds by about 20mph.

Toyota's Lee White told the Indianapolis Star: "With the accidents that have happened and the potential for cars flying into the audience...there's no way we can criticise that this is the right thing to do. We have to control the speeds, and this is the best way."

Honda's Robert Clarke told espn.com: "Who knows whether this change will help but it's a step in the right direction. What the IRL has done is appropriate, I believe, and doing nothing would have been inappropriate."

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