IndyCar »

Engine mods for 2009 Lights campaign


The venerable Firestone Indy Lights engine will undergo a modification for 2009 in an effort to make them sound more like racing engines as well as increase performance.

The principal change will see the 90-degree crankshaft used in the engines since the series' inception in 2002 changed to a 180-degree unit, a modification which executive director Roger Bailey claims drivers will notice.

"We primarily made the change to make the car sound more like they have single-seater racing engines," he admitted, "but the change will help the car's performance as well. It doesn't really change the horsepower, but the drivers will see an improvement in the power band in the mid-range. And that will help our cars get off the corner better."

"From the outward appearance, there won't be any changes to the motor," said Speedway Engine Development's Jeff Gordon, "The noticeable difference is the sound the engine makes is more similar to the IndyCar Series engine. Our goal is to make the engines the same so they are not a factor in any way. Our goal is be reliable and consistent and make the teams forget about the engines."

So far, the modified engine has been both reliable and consistent, having been tested by Sam Schmidt Motorsport, which ran the crankshaft during test sessions throughout the 2008 season, and Panther Racing, which took delivery of engines utilising the new crankshaft in time for Martin Plowman and Pippa Mann to run with them. The remainder of Firestone Indy Lights teams will have access to the revised units when the holiday testing break ends in January.

"It pulls more off the corners," revealed 2008 season runner-up Richard Antinucci, who also tested with the new-spec engine with Panther, "It's also a lot quieter in the cockpit - and I was pleasantly surprised by that."

While the Schmidt and Panther teams were running the new engine, and other teams preparing for the 2009 season, the Genoa squad is planning to host an 'open house' session at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The team has yet to test its cars this winter, but is moving forward with plans to return to the series with two cars in 2009. Genoa, which has won Lights events with drivers Ryan Hampton and Thiago Medeiros in 2002 and 2003 respectively, will stage its special session while its rivals test at Homestead today [19 November].

"By the very nature of this developmental series, the current crop of drivers may be unaware of our championship legacy," said GM and chief engineer Thomas Knapp, who helped Greg Ray win the IndyCar Series title in 1999, "It is very important to re-introduce ourselves to the current and future participants. With cars that have been on pole at Indy and ran up front throughout 2007, and with Genoa's 30 years of championship-winning performance, we're obviously proud of where we're at, and we couldn't pass on the opportunity to show it off a bit.”

Firestone Indy Lights veteran CR Crews has taken a driver development position with the team and is working with Knapp and team president Mark Olson as Genoa attempts to secure its driver line-up.

“Facing a long winter off-season, most of the other teams have packed it in for the year," he said, "The top drivers are all in Florida this weekend to determine who has the resources to put them on the top of the box. We certainly have the equipment, personnel, and commitment to compete with the premier teams in the league, and we're excited to demonstrate it at Homestead.”


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ed Jones, Dale Coyne Racing, IndyCar [Credit: Ed Jones PR]
Alexander Rossi - Andretti Autosport   [pic credit: Indycar Media/Joe Skibinski]
Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske) celebrates winning the 2016 IndyCar title with victory at Sonoma   [pic credit: Chris Owens]
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Ed Jones celebrates winning the 2016 Indy Lights championship
Kyle Kaiser (Juncos Racing) celebrates at Laguna Seca
Kyle Kaiser - Juncos Racing
Ed Carpenter Racing crew working on the boss` car   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Indy Lights action
Indy Lights title contender Santiago Urrutia, Ed Jones, Dean Stoneman, Felix Serralles, Kyle Kaiser and Zach Veach   [pic credit: IndyCar Media]
Santiago Urrutia - Schmidt Petersen Motorsport
Will Power - Team Penske
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to victory at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to pole at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Graham Rahal celebrates victory in the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway   (image credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens)
Scott Dixon leads the Indycar field   [pic credit: Indycar media/Bret Kelley]
Will Power - Team Penske   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Jones]

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.