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 IRL News

New Cars Break Cover

1997 specification cars that will contest the Indy Racing League have been undergoing early shakedown tests, writes James Beckett.

Chassis' manufactured by the British company G-Force, and the Italian company Dallara, have made their debut runs on the Pheonix International Raceway and Walt Disney World Speedway driven by IRL regulars Arie Luyendyk and Elisco Salazar.

Luyendyk, the 1990 Indianapolis 500 winner, drove the G-Force car for the Treadway Racing team at Phoenix. The car, chassis number GF01-001, was powered by an Oldsmobile Aurora V8 engine and the combination met with the approval of Luyendyk: "The conecpt of the rules package as it is today for the new IRL cars with these particular engines is going very well. It still feels like a very fast race car to me."

Salazar was trusted with Dallara's first chassis on the fast Walt Disney World Speedway located near Florida's 'Magic Kingdom'.

Painted in the familiar red of Team Scandia, Salazar completed 203 laps with the Italian challenger that was also powered by Oldsmobile's Aurora engine. Salazar said after the test, "The biggest difference in the car is the sound. Basically it reacts like a true formula car should. 1997 is going to be a very exciting year for the IRL."

The Indy Racing League, brainchild of Tony George - president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, have made new regulations for their championship. The rules, coming into force on January 1st, will see safer cars and normally aspirated V8 engines in a move that sets itself free from the rival PPG IndyCar World Series.

All of the IRL races are held on traditional oval tracks, and the first event of 1997 takes place at the Walt Disney World Speedway - the Indy 200 - on January 25th.

James Beckett.

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