Cosworth V8 turning 21K, Kalkhoven meets with Bernie

UPDATE Cosworth is in negotiations with 'a couple' of F1 teams about 2006, its owner revealed. Kevin Kalkhoven, also Champ Car chief, is desperate to find a home for the ready-to-run Cosworth V8, built in Northampton. In truth, though, the only option is Williams, who have split with BMW and are on the power lookout. Rival independents Sauber (BMW), Jordan (Toyota) and Red Bull (Ferrari), appear set for the race into next year.

''It's a great engine,'' Kalkhoven told Autosport. ''We'll see how (the negotiation) goes. It's hard to compete with manufacturers that give away free engines and a lot of support.''

Minardi will use a rev-limited Cosworth V10 in 2006. Kalkhoven also admitted that his US-based Champ Car series could potentially boast faster cars than F1 from 2007. ''F1 is going down in power,'' he noted, ''and has different tire rules. '''We can go up in power and maintain the ability to change tires.'' [The new Champ Cars are going down in weight too].

07/12/05 Kevin Kalkhoven is proud of the broad base of Cosworth's engineering skills and capabilities.

"The primary reason for buying Cosworth was to insure Champ Car had a reliable source of engines for the indefinite future," he observed. "But Cosworth is an engineering company that does a lot more than make Champ Car engines. They make a lot of different stuff for a lot of different people, some of which you never hear about. It's an engineering expertise that is very creative whether it's in motorsport or say, aviation. They make bits for the new Airbus 380, for instance.

"They produce ingenious engineering solutions for a tenth of the cost of the big engineering companies. Cosworth doesn't have marble on the floor, but it has some smart brains. When you see that little Formula 1 V-8 running at 21,000 revs, well, it's amazing to see what they can do with a limited number of very smart engineers."

He was asked to comment about Cosworth's future in Formula 1.

"The V-8 is up and running, with well over 700 horsepower at 21,000 revs," Kalkhoven reiterated. "It's going well. It's a great engine. We're in negotiations with a couple of teams at the moment and we'll see how it goes. It's hard to compete with the manufacturers that give away free engines and a lot of support. So it really depends on how important having an independent engine manufacturer is to Formula 1 or whether they want to be entirely in the hands of manufacturers.

"I've had a meeting with Bernie (Ecclestone). He was very helpful and came up with a lot of creative ideas. Whether or not we supply a complete engine, we'll supply a lot of stuff, particularly when you combine it with Pi. Obviously we would like to have the engine in Formula 1. You certainly go out of your way to create a competitive offer to teams, but in the final analysis, you can never exceed an offer that a manufacturer will make. We have a contract with our friends at Minardi, but that's not a front-running team."

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