To Discuss New Specifications and Encourage Expanded
With the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the cusp of celebrating two significant centennials, and the unification of open-wheel racing in North America complete, the IndyCar Series today announced plans to define its next generation of technical competition rules package with the ultimate goal of encouraging new manufacturer participation within the series.
An ‘IndyCar Automotive Manufacturers Round Table’ targeting senior level automotive executives will be held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in late June to openly discuss future IndyCar Series concepts.
The series has targeted introduction of new specifications for the 2011 season, the 100th anniversary of the first Indianapolis 500-Mile Race with a desire for multiple automobile manufacturer participation.
“Unification and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway centennials provide us with an historic opportunity to showcase the innovative spirit of IndyCar Series racing,” said Tony George, founder & CEO of the Indy Racing League. “The Indy 500 has a rich history of speed, innovation and technology, and the second century of IndyCar Series racing must continue to further that heritage.
“Now is the time to re-energize our sport and look to the future. We are committed to creating strong partnership value and opportunities for our teams by looking at relevant technology that will entice manufacturers to participate within a cost-conscious formula.”
The IndyCar Series has retained RWB of Torrance, Calif., to work in concert with the series to develop the round table. RWB’s Neil Ressler will facilitate the round table discussions. Ressler spent 34 years with theFord Motor Company, most recently as vice president and chief technical officer, Research and Vehicle Technology, before announcing his retirement in 2001.
The IndyCar Series objectives for its round table include:
Make the technical aspects of the IndyCar series more relevant to the challenges facing the automobile industry now and in the future.
Review and define the technical specifications and align them with the R&D efforts already underway by the automobile industry.
“Our approach to this round table is fresh, and we are targeting senior level automotive executives to come to Indianapolis and collectively determine the options and vision for the IndyCar Series’ next generation racing platform,” said Brian Barnhart, president of competition and racing operations for the Indy Racing League. “Our goal is to create a relevantengine platform that is strategically aligned with major automotive manufacturers’ existing and future programs and initiatives.”
“There is a true excitement about the future of the IndyCar Series on and off the racetrack that is shared by all those in the sport,” said Terry Angstadt, president, commercial division for the Indy Racing League. “Recent projects with the Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, Calif.) and the Center for Creative Studies (Detroit) have provided real inspiration for the next-generation car, and we are very excited about the possibilities.”
During today’s press briefing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IndyCar Series officials were joined by Honda Performance Development President Erik Berkman, who announced that Honda, encouraged by the unification of open-wheel racing and the opportunities it brings, plans to supply engines to the IndyCar Series for the next five years.
“Honda is pleased to be a part of the IndyCar Series as it provides both a technical challenge for our engineers and a showcase for Honda products worldwide,” said Berkman. “We are delighted by the series’ decision to welcome automotive manufacturers to Indianapolis next month to discuss the next generation of IndyCar Series racing.”