Engine makers await IRL specs

While most Hoosiers are headed for the polls this election day, Indy Racing League teams and officials are headed to Las Vegas for their post-season banquet at The Palms Casino Resort tomorrow.

Word coming from series officials as they get ready to wrap up the season is that there is still a fair bit of interest from several engine makers interested in joining the series in coming years. Those manufacturers are especially interested in the 2011 engine specifications, which are expected to be released any day. The expectation is a four-cylinder turbo-charged engine. Since 1997, IRL cars have been powered by non turbo-charged engines. The return to turbo-charged engines is especially enticing to some engine makers.

There were 10 engine makers at a June 25 meeting about the specifications. The most keen interest now is coming from Alfa Romeo, Porsche, BMW and Audi. Honda, which has committed to staying with the series has made clear its interest in competing against other engine makers. Honda has been the sole engine maker for the series since Chevrolet and Toyota exited in the past three years.

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