CART votes for 3.5-liter normally-aspirated engines

THE CART team owners met in Houston on Thursday and voted that in 2003 the cars should be powered by 3.5-liter normally-aspirated engines. The move is significant for two reasons: the first is that it means that the engine formula is now basically the same as the rival Indy Racing League, which will mean that manufacturers will be able to compete in either series (or both). It is also significant as many of the European manufacturers have experience in the development of 3.5-liter engines and so the research and development necessary to become involved in CART would be much less than is currently the case. It is expected that the CART engines will be the same specification as the IRL engines but will not have any rev limits.

In recent days Tony George of the IRL has been suggesting that there is about to be an announcement about a new engine manufacturer in the series. George will not say which company is involved.

IRL's rise to prominence continues with the announcement on Thursday that the series will next year include a 400-mile event at the California Speedway on March 24 next year. This has led to speculation that it will revive the concept of what was known as "The Triple Crown", the three races at Indianapolis, Michigan and in California. In the old days the Triple Crown featured the West Coast race at Ontario Motor Speedway.

George also confirmed that the IRL has had discussions about the possibility of an event at Daytona International Speedway but says that there are no plans for such an event in 2002 or 2003.

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