Cosworth pioneered the technology in 2004 for use in the turbocharged, 2.65-liter V8 engines used exclusively by the Champ Car World Series. Drivers utilize Cosworth Power To Pass by pressing a button on their steering wheel, which increases the engine’s rpm and horsepower for a pre-determined amount of time.
“Looking forward, we believe the addition of Cosworth Power To Pass will bring about more overtaking opportunities during our races," said Atlantic Championship technical director Eric Haverson. “The system worked very well on the Cosworth-powered Champ Car and really helped provide for some exciting racing. It offers the driver another tool to use during the race when trying to pass and should bring some interesting strategy into play for the teams as well."
Cosworth has been preparing the 2.3-liter, four-cylinder Mazda MZR engines used in the Atlantic Championship since the 2006 racing season. The normally aspirated, 16-valve, fuel-injected engines currently produce up to 300 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and are capable of speeds in excess of 175 mph. The length of time one push of the Cosworth Power To Pass button will increase rpm and horsepower will correspond with the longest straightaway on the circuit. Cosworth Power To Pass will disengage as soon as the driver lifts off the throttle.
“This is a big step for the Atlantic Championship," said Cosworth Americas motorsport manager Jeremy Sundt. “As a development series, I think it raises the Atlantic Championship a few steps up the metaphorical global development ladder. We are giving these young drivers a chance to compete with similar strategy that they will likely encounter as they progress through their driving careers. The scheduled test at Road Atlanta will give Cosworth a chance to audit the strategy. The exact power output numbers are still being finalized and pending the results of this test will be released for the 2010 season."
Next up for the 2009 Atlantic Championship is the penultimate round of the 12-race season on Friday, September 25 at Road Atlanta as part of the festivities at the 12th annual Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA6 for the American Le Mans Series. Simona De Silvestro currently leads the championship standings by eight points, 160-152, over John Edwards with Jonathan Summerton just 12 points out of the lead in third.