What happened to the new IRL engine manufacturers

A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, The IRL (Brian Barnhart I think) was on record that they had to announce the engine manufacturers for the new IndyCar engine by the end of this year, in order for them to be ready for the 2011 season. The end of this year is just 8 days away. Where is the announcement? Will Honda again be the lone engine supplier? Jeff Gables, Miami

Dear Jeff, Indeed the IRL did say they had to announce the engine formula and who the manufacturers would be by the end of 2008, but in reality they have more time. It does not take an engine manufacturer 2 full years to design and test an engine these days with the advent of advanced computer modeling and manufacturing techniques. The real concern is that with the economy and the Versa TV package that will see ratings plummet in the USA, those who expressed interest may be having second thoughts. Porsche has already backed away. Let's hope the others (Audi, Alfa Romeo, Fiat) don't follow suit. An IndyCar race (or two) in Europe certainly would help sway those European manufacturers. Mark C.

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