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Kirby talks about new IRL engine package
Ed Note: Gordon Kirby talks about the new engine package. It should be noted of course, that Honda already has a proven V6 Turbo engine, and was the top engine in the CART days. So they will be way ahead of any new manufacturer that comes in at this point. We don’t expect to see any new engine manufacturers jump in when the current one has such a big head-start.

The Way It Is/ Honda’s turbo V6 begins to take shape.

As reported in this space in April over the past two years Honda has been developing a new 2.4 liter twin turbo V6 engine for IndyCar and ALMS racing. Honda’s new V6 will form the basis of IndyCar’s 2012 formula and will also race as a customer engine in the ALMS’s P2 category. Honda settled on pursuing a turbo V6 for both Indy car and sports car racing two years ago but serious design and simulation work didn’t start until last year.

“Our design started in earnest back in the fall of 2009,” said Honda Performance Development’s president Erik Berkman. “We went through a lot of iterations on paper. We had a design concept in mind back in 2008 but we uncorked our resources in the fall of ‘09 to put a little more serious effort into this post-works era in the ALMS. We had to put our attention into something and with the sports car era turning more to customer programs we wanted to work on the belief that we were going to get this new IndyCar engine done.

“Developing new things and new products are a way of life for us,” Berkman added. “We’ve got these people who are brought together for a purpose and if they don’t have a purpose they don’t want to be there anymore. They want to go work for somebody else. So we had to commit to a new development program to keep their interest and focus.”

Last winter Honda began to pressure the IRL for a commitment to a new V6 engine formula. But Berkman says his company backed-off a little with the appearance in February of the Delta Wing Indy car concept and Randy Bernard’s arrival in March as the IRL’s new CEO.

To read the rest of this column go to www.gordonkirby.com and click on 'The Way It Is'

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