GM racing director Doug Duchardt has voiced GM's strong support for revisions in the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series engine rules announced this week.

Effective at the 2004 Indianapolis 500, maximum engine displacement will be reduced from 3.5 litres to 3.0 litres. In the three IRL events preceding the Indianapolis 500, the engine air scoops will be vented to reduce performance. The move from 3.5-litre (214 cubic-inch) to 3.0-litre (183ci) engines is expected to reduce output by approximately 10 percent.

"GM Racing strongly supports the IRL's decision to revise the engine regulations to control speeds," said Duchardt. "The safety of drivers, teams, officials and spectators is paramount, and we fully endorse the IRL's initiatives. IRL officials discussed the proposed rule change with us, and we appreciate being involved in the process."

GM is the only manufacturer that has supplied engines to IRL teams since the series introduced its naturally aspirated engine formula in January 1997. GM Racing has produced IRL engines in two displacements (4.0 litres and 3.5 litres) and development of a new 3.0-litre version of the Chevy Indy V-8 is now underway. Since 1997, maximum engine speed, which is regulated by a programmable rev limiter, has been adjusted four times, ranging between 10,700 and 10,000 rpm.

"When GM entered the IRL as an engine manufacturer, we clearly understood that periodic revisions in the engine regulations would play a key role in controlling speeds," Duchardt noted. "The previous changes in maximum rpm and engine displacement have proven to be cost-effective, and we expect the new 2004 regulations to produce positive results as well. The decision to implement the new rules in May provides adequate time for us to manage our parts inventory and ensures that we will have a supply of 3.0-litre Chevy Indy V-8 engines ready for the Indy 500."

GM Racing has a dedicated safety research programme that actively seeks to improve safety in all motorsports series. GM personnel and facilities have been instrumental in the testing and validation of safety enhancements such as crash data recorders, head and neck protection, rear impact attentuators, seats and seat belts, and wheel restraints.

"GM is committed to improving motorsports safety, and we support the efforts of all the sanctioning bodies," Duchardt said. "It's the right thing to do."



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