Volkswagen to enter Indy Racing League
Wednesday, 14 January 2009
German manufacturer moving closer to engine supply deal
Audi Sport’s head of engine technology Ulrich Baretzky confirmed to Racecar Engineering that the Volkswagen Group has been actively talking to the Indy Racing League since the engine manufactures’ round table held by the IRL in June 2008. Although nothing has yet been confirmed, it is looking increasingly likely that VW will join Honda as an Indy Car engine supplier when the regulations are changed, in theory in 2011. It is possible that announcements will be made shortly before the season begins in April both on participation and on rule changes. Baretzky did say that it has also yet to be decided which of the Group’s brands would be used if the decision is taken to go ahead although this is more likely to be Volkswagen itself rather than one of the other brands such as Audi.
Baretzky indicated that his interests now lie in the area of small powerful petrol engines, rather than the diesels that may become such a factor of Audi’s success both on the track and road. He confirmed that this is the direction he would like to head with the IRL. Most likely scenario is currently a 2.0-litre turbocharged formula allowing both in-line fours and V6s, thus accommodating both the Volkswagen Group and Honda.