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
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.