No. 964
September 19, 2018

About The Autoextremist


Author, commentator, influencer. The Consigliere. Minister of the High-Octane Truth. Editor-in-Chief of .

Peter DeLorenzo has been in and around the sport of racing since the age of ten. After a 22-year career in automotive marketing and advertising, where he worked on national campaigns as well as creating many motorsports campaigns for various clients, DeLorenzo established on June 1, 1999. Over the years DeLorenzo's commentaries on racing and the business of motorsports have resonated throughout the industry. Because of the burgeoning influence of those commentaries, DeLorenzo has directly consulted automotive clients on the fundamental direction and content of their motorsports programs. DeLorenzo is considered to be one of the most influential voices commenting on the sport today.

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April 7, 2010

IndyCar moves closer to an engine decision, but there's potentially more to the story.

By Peter M. De Lorenzo

(Posted 4/5, 8:30AM) Detroit.
Inside word from the IndyCar talks suggests that a decision on a fundamental engine architecture is close. No one has revealed as of yet whether we're talking a 4-cylinder turbo, a turbocharged V6 or a small turbo V8, but one piece of information that's emerging is that the discussions have moved to the point where a common engine architecture is close to being agreed upon. By the sounds of it this would mean a "spec" engine is imminent, which would mean the same-old, "business as usual" type of scenario, but that wouldn't be accurate in this case.

The fundamental difference emerging from these latest discussions is that even though there might be a common bottom end to the engines, the induction/fuel-injection systems would be "free" and left up to the participating manufacturers' own designs. This would encourage more manufacturer involvement - meaning more teams, sponsors and bigger fields - which is something that everyone involved in the discussions wants. It would also mean that IndyCar's biggest event - the Indianapolis 500 - would become a prime target once again for manufacturers wanting to make promotional hay about winning the sport's greatest single race.

This emerging new engine scenario has already piqued the interest of several new manufacturers who haven't been on the rumor radar screens of late as companies interested in participating in IndyCar. As a matter of fact this may change everything, with as many as a half-dozen manufacturers now eager to play, given the direction of the new rules.

But there could be potentially more to this new engine scenario too. Much more. What if the new IndyCar engine design package also became eligible for use in the American Le Mans Series' LMP1 class? Wouldn't it then make sense for manufacturers participating in IndyCar to amortize the costs of their involvement across more than one series, with the technical transference aspect - the overriding raison d'etre of the ALMS - becoming even more attractive?

I would hope that the powers that be in IndyCar finalize this new engine package asap, because without it I can see the day when Indy-style racing might disappear altogether. And I would also hope that the ALMS and the ACO take a long, hard look at this new IndyCar engine package when it emerges.

Because it has the potential to be the lifeblood of their series as well.


Publisher's Note: As part of our continuing series celebrating the "Glory Days" of racing, we're proud to present another noteworthy image from the Ford Racing Archives. - PMD

(Courtesy of the Ford Racing Archives)
Indianapolis, Indiana, 1963. Dan Gurney confers with crew chief Bill Fowler, while others crowd around his Lotus-Ford during a private Ford test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway prior to that year's Indy 500. Both Gurney and Jim Clark participated in the test. Clark would finish 2nd to Parnelli Jones in the "500" that year, while Gurney would come home 7th.



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