The GRE engine would have worked with the light Delta Wing car. The decision to not go that route cost IndyCar the chance to land manufacturers Chevy, Ford, Mazda, BMW and Audi/VW.
Delta Wing's Dan Partel is convinced the FIA's 'Global Racing Engine' is going to happen. He says each of Chevrolet, Ford, Mazda, BMW and the Volkswagen Group will unveil 'GRE' four-cylinder racing engines over the course of the next year.
"Chevrolet, Ford, Mazda and BMW are up and running and will be available to customers six months after they have raced," Partel commented. "The FIA regulations for the 'GRE' will require the automobile manufacturers to sell or make available to the public the basic components of their engines within six months of entering competition. There's a great variety in the prices but we believe we will be able to buy production engines that would require a dry sump lubrication kit and a few other bits and bobs for $50,000. This whole thing has been well thought-out by the engine manufacturers working with the FIA and obviously they are going ahead with it. It's a cheap, affordable way for the auto manufacturers to go racing across a wide range of categories in difficult economic times."
Partel says he doesn't understand why IndyCar's 'Iconic' committee made the decision to focus its 2012 engine rules on Honda's 2.4 liter turbo V6.
"Now that the Chevy, Ford, Mazda and BMW in-line four engines are available," Partel remarked. "I'm perplexed about how the 'Iconic' committee came to the conclusion that nobody wanted to supply an I-4 engine. I believe the Speedway cannot survive in the longterm without the participation of multiple automobile manufacturers."
Audi Sport's chief engine man Dr. Ulrich Baretzky has been one of the leading proponents of the 'Global Racing Engine'. The idea was first proposed to the FIA four years ago by Peter Wright and in the last year or two support has grown steadily for the concept of a low-boost, small capacity turbocharged four-cylinder engine that could be used in a wide variety of racing categories. Audi's Baretzky has been actively involved in marshaling support for the 'Global Racing Engine', discussing and pushing the concept with automobile manufacturers around the world.
"Ten companies have been involved in the process," Baretzky said. "There's a clear sporting agreement between most or nearly all of the manufacturers and a lot of the sport's groups or teams see that this is the way to go. But as they say, Rome was not built in one day. These things take time but there's a really big interest in the in-line, four-cylinder 1,600 cc 'Global Racing Engine'." GordonKirby.com
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