New Chevy engine to make full debut

The new Cosworth-built Chevrolet IRL Indy Racing League engine will power all six of the marque's drivers in this weekend's race at Kentucky Speedway, after successful trials by Panther Racing and Cheever Racing in the past two races

New Chevy engine to make full debut

The GM-brand has struggled to compete with Japanese rivals Toyota and Honda this year, and took the radical decision to turn to Cosworth, owned by major rival Ford, for help. The resultant engine, the Gen IV Chevy Indy V8, impressed in its race debut at Michigan, although Buddy Rice could only finish 14th with the unit at Gateway last weekend.

"The race at Kentucky Speedway will be a significant milestone in the evolution of Chevrolet's IRL programme," said GM Racing IRL programme manager Joe Negri. "The conversion to the Gen IV Chevy Indy V8 has been very smooth, thanks to the exceptional efforts of our teams and suppliers.

"We still have a long road to travel during the development of this new engine specification, and there will certainly be some bumps along the way. With six engines on track this weekend, we can accelerate our learning and continue to build a strong foundation for Chevy's IRL programme in 2004 and 2005."

Sam Hornish Jr was the first driver to race the engine at Michigan, where he fell 0.0121s short of victory. The Panther Racing star is convinced he can win with the new engine, and has refused to rule challenging for a third straight IRL title.

"We're all looking forward to having the new Gen IV Chevy Indy V8 in our car again," he said. "It performed really well for us at Michigan, and I think it will help a lot at Kentucky, as well. We think we've got a good shot at winning races again. We still think we have a shot at the championship. I have a positive attitude and can't wait to get back out there."

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