Friday, November 12, 2010

TELECON: The BowTie returns to IndyCar

So I first heard the scuttlebutt on this last Sunday night when watchin’ Ye ‘Ol Windbag’s show –Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain... Speculatin’ that perhaps ‘Cheep (Ganassi) had turned down Ford’s extremely generous offer to switch over to the Blue Oval in RASSCARLAND in order to be the lead player with Chevy backing in IndyCar beginning in 2012? Along with hearing that Ilmor had already designed a twin-turbo V-6 Indy Car lump...

And I’m guessin’ I wouldn’t want to try playing poker with The Captain, a.k.a. Roger Penske who was a guest on the show and when asked about the Chevy to Indy rumours promptly replied: I know Nothing...

Thus, I awoke early this morning to drop-in to the RALLY-RALLY-RALLY BIG ANNOUNCEMENT at the IMS Hall of Fame Museum, which was slated to begin at 7AM Pacific... To which instead was preceded by 20mins of music, as I failed to scribble down the Marc Cohn Walkin’ in Memphis song... Which was followed by Neil Young’s “Take a look at yourself Old Man,” Johnnie Cougar (Melloncamp) ROCKIN’ in the USA, Thin Lizzy’s The Boyz are Back, Sammy Van Haggar’s I CAN’T DRIVE 55 and Melloncamp’s I fight Authority... Before the Press Conference finally began at 7:20AM.

The briefing was moderated by an IMS Track Announcer I’ve never heard of named Scott Hoke(?) and attended by the IMS Board of Directors; with Mary Holman George front ‘N center, along with Josie (‘N the Pussy Cats...) George and even some guy named “Citizen Tony” (Tony George) in the building, albeit seated in a different section...

There was Mr. Belskis, Randy Bernard, two Senior GM “Shirts,” Gil De Ferran, Tony Kottman and Neil Restler from the ICONIC Board, Scott Goodyear, Derek Daly, ‘lil Al, (Al Unser Jr.) Arie Luyendyk, Roger Penske, HULIO, Will Power and Simona de Silvestro on hand, and lastly Martin Plowman, whilst J.R. Hildebrand slipped in at the end...

And the two things that jumped out the most to me were that the GM Brass noted several times how they’d be “Working Together” with Engine Specialist Ilmor to develop a 2.4-liter Direct Injection Twin-turbocharged V-6 Powerplant and how Roger Penske stated how Ilmor builds engines for Honda...

My memory recalls that when Ilmor was originally formed way back when, ‘Circa 1980’s (1983) it was a 4-way partnership between General Motors, Roger Penske, Mario Illen and Paul Morgan, each with a 25% Ownership stake. To which dramatically changed after Morgan’s death in a vintage plane accident in 2001. As Mercedes took control with 55% Ownership in ’02 before a complete Takeover in ’05, when the company became Mercedes High Performance Engines...

Interestingly, at this time Mario Illen along with Penske, bought the Special Projects portion of the Company which was responsible for the Honda IRL engine, whilst it was noted how Chevy had won 104 races, six Driver titles and seven Indy 500’s. (Before pulling out of the Indy Racing League along with Toyota at the end of 2005...)

So, I have to say my initial thoughts are that it sounds like nothing more then a Badge Engineering project – as I’m wondering will the engines of Honda and Chevrolet be exactly the same, minus different valve covers?

Roger Penske steering Chevrolet back to IndyCar
And it was also amusing that there was absolutely ZERO mention of Chip Ganassi’s involvement... As hopefully we’ll get some real answers to exactly what’s going on besides that Chevy will return to IndyCars in 2012 when the new “Body-by-Mennen” Era begins...
Honda Says IT'S ON ... (Kidding) Issues News Release

No comments:

Post a Comment