IndyCar’s struggles to get a 3rd engine manufacturer

A reader asks, Dear, IndyCar has been trying to get a third engine manufacturer in the series for many years but has been unsuccessful. What is the problem? Patty Clark

Dear Patty, Indeed, they have failed to land a 3rd engine manufacturer and the reasons are simple:

  1. TV ratings on NBCSN are so low, where is the return on investment?
  2. International TV viewership is unknown because IndyCar refuses to do the research to gather the data from the ESPN International race broadcast distribution. Those viewers could be added to the USA viewership to at least make the total global viewership number reasonable. Why don't they do it? Because the current management doesn't care. They only care about their beloved Indy 500.
  3. The world is moving to electric passenger cars – you know it from's predictions over 5 years ago. You also know it by all the recent manufacturers moving to Formula E to spend their R&D money. To be somewhat relevant with the OEMS, IndyCar must at least add KERS to the car in 2021. With no electric component (KERS stores kinetic energy gained from braking in batteries that power an electric motor to supplement the internal combustion engine) IndyCar has 0.00% relevance to OEMs going forward and will never land a 3rd OEM. The sooner they announce their next generation power unit will be a twin-turbo V6 with KERS the better the chance they have of landing a 3rd OEM to go along with Chevy and Honda
  4. With F1 moving to the same twin turbo V6 engine with KERS, the closer the IndyCar formula is to the F1 version the better the chance an OEM might do both series. Because of the sustained power output required for 500-mile oval races where KERS is useless except for pitstop braking, the IndyCar version will probably have to be a larger displacement and less exotic materials to keep costs down. The current F1 V6 is 1.8-liters and the IndyCar V6 is 2.2 liters.
  5. Or…….they could ditch all relevance to OEMS and passenger cars, and have Cosworth or Ilmor build them low cost screaming V8 spec power units that sound like F1 cars used to that would pack the grandstands and quadruple the fanbase and TV ratings. Fans would flock to IndyCar while the Europeans carry on their silent electric car racing with loads of OEM involvement but near-zero fans. Silent electric car racing is boring as shit.

Mark C. reporting for

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