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IRL Announces New Engine Specs

17 November 1998

Telephone Conference with IRL Director Leo Mehl and IRL President Tony George

11:01-11:47 AM EST Tuesday November 17, 1998

New engine regulations for the years 2000-2004 were announced today in joint
news conference with Tony George and Leo Mehl. The biggest news to come out
of the press conference was the confirmation of the engine specifications
that will change in the year 2000 from the current 4.0 litre to 3.5 litre
displacement. In 1999 the teams will also utilize a programmable revolution

The engine change by the IRL, which had been rumored for many weeks, is
thought to be one more step that the upstart series is making to try and
find common ground between IRL and CART. The engines will no longer be
required to be production based powerplants. Currently only Oldsmobile has
committed to the new specifications. Nissan, the only other manufacturer
that supplies engines has not publicly committed to the new specifications.

For the teams that want to run their 1999 powerplants in the year 2000 an
update package will be offered at the price of $10,000. A question asked of
Leo Mehl regarding the behind the scenes negotiations with CART was answered
"that there have been many informal discussions with CART. However, our
direction of changing the engine specifications is to broaden our appeal to
more teams."

The new engine specifications will not allow manufacturers to lease engines
as is the rule in CART. That rule will not change. 

Other questions posed to Mehl revolved around the still undetermined TV
package. The ratings of open-wheel racing in North America have plummeted
since the split. Tony George believes that the "ratings boil down to an
awareness factor." George proposed that the IRL will aggressively promote
the racing package in 1999 and beyond.

A full engine specification package with technical information will be
available later this week.

David Treffer -- The Auto Channel