With an eye toward the 2010 season, all Atlantic Championship teams and drivers participating in the promoter test day at Road Atlanta will have the opportunity to test Cosworth's power-to-pass system.
The first session of the 22 September test - to run from 0945-1015hrs will mark the first time Atlantic cars have run with the technology, which first saw the light of day in the Champ Car series, and was replicated for use in this year's IndyCar Series.
“Looking forward, we believe the addition of Cosworth power-to-pass will bring about more overtaking opportunities during our races,” championship technical director Eric Haverson claimed, "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-litre four-cylinder Mazda MZR engines used in the Atlantic Championship since 2006, with the normally aspirated 16-valve fuel-injected engines currently producing up to 300 horsepower at 8000rpm and are speeds in excess of 175mph. The length of time one push of the power-to-pass button will increase both revs and horsepower to levels corresponding with the longest straight on the circuit in use. The system 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 finalised and, pending the results of this test, will be released for the 2010 season.”
The 2009 Atlantic Championship reaches its penultimate round at Road Atlanta on 25 September, with Simona de Silvestro currently leads the standings by eight points over John Edwards, with Jonathan Summerton just twelve points out of the lead in third.