IRL may delay engine switch

February 9, 2009

The Indy Racing League is considering delaying adoption of its new engine formula by a year—to 2012—so teams can afford to make the switch.

Despite the rough economy, there are still a number of companies interested in joining Honda as engine supplier for the open-wheel series, said Brian Barnhart, IRL competition director. Representatives from Audi, Fiat, Porsche and Volkswagen confirmed their interest in joining the series. IRL officials think financial trouble among American engine makers will keep them on the sidelines.

Honda Performance Development President Erik Berkman said during a Feb. 3 press conference that the Japanese car maker very much wants more engine makers in the series soon.

So how many engine makers are IRL officials hoping for?

"We are happy [to be talking with] five this far down the road in this process," Barnhart said. "We are not going to get five. But, if we get two to join Honda, we would be very happy."

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