Dudot joins Nissan

BERNARD DUDOT, the former technical director of Renault Sport has been sent to the United States to keep on eye on the Nissan program in the Indy Racing League. The 62-year-old Frenchman has been out of the sport since he left his position as technical director of Prost Grand Prix in June 1999. He was at Prost for 18 months but prior to that was head of Renault's engine development programs throughout the company's involvement in topline motorsport.

Dudot's new role with Nissan is, in fact, a job with his old employers as Nissan is now controlled by Renault. Dudot will keep a close eye on the development of the 3.5-liter Infiniti V8 engine which has been development for Nissan by the TWR Group. Nissan hopes that it will become the first Japanese engine manufacturer to win the Indianapolis 500 but the engines have not been a big success in IRL to date with only a couple of drivers using the units at the moments: Eddie Cheever is one and Robbie Buhl (Dreyer & Reinbold Racing) the other.

The current Infiniti engine is a revamped version of the 5-liter engine design by Nissan for the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1999. This was then modified to 3.5-liter spec by TWR's Race Engine Division but has so far to show any real pace.

Dudot's job will be to oversee the running of the engines in IRL and to keep on eye on the development program with regular visits to TWR expected in the months ahead.

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