IRL won’t let Cosworth in without a manufacturer

Anyone expecting the Indy Racing League to overhaul its engine package for 2007 might be disappointed. There will be few, if any, changes, according to league president Brian Barnhart. The 3.0-liter configuration in place since the 2004 Indianapolis 500 is reliable enough to keep, he said. Another advantage to consistency is that new research and development won't be required of the designers. That's kind of what we've been saying all summer," said Barnhart, who had not issued a public statement on the engine package. "I'd be hard-pressed to say there will be a significant difference in any area of the engine for 2007."

The lone change will be in the fuel. Ethanol, which is made from corn, will be used following a season in which it is mixed with methanol, the current fuel.

Barnhart said no additional manufacturers have shown enough interest in the IRL to make him optimistic that they will join Honda for 2007. Chevrolet will leave the league after this season with Toyota to exit after 2006.

Barnhart said he is still weighing the effect of removing the stipulation that all engines must carry the label of an auto manufacturer. "We've had a lot of interest from suppliers (of race engines), but I still think we're better off with manufacturer support," he said. "The problem is, if you release (the label stipulation), you make (the IRL) less attractive for future manufacturers to join." Indy Star

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