IRL to revert to 3.5L engine if Honda leaves

If the IndyCar Series can't entice Honda to stay, it appears to be putting a backup plan in place that would utilize Ilmor to service and supply the field — reportedly using a pool of approximately 200 previous generation, 3.5-liter GM IndyCar motors. Ilmor co-founders Roger Penske and Mario Illien (along with the estate of deceased Ilmor partner Paul Morgan) recently took full control of Ilmor's U.S. operations and they could be positioning the company to power the IndyCar grid.

"I think that's an option down the road, maybe after 2006, '07 or '08," Penske responded. "But that's up to the IRL. You'd always like to have manufacturers in because it supports the teams but at this point, it's still too far out to make a specific decision. They're in the engine business so it's certainly something they would look at."

"We have a lot of options for people who can build and maintain engines for us under these specifications," Barnhart noted. "A lot of existing engines are already out there." ESPN.com

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