While Cosworth has been ramping up its involvement in the Verizon IndyCar Series, both in terms of wanting to partner with an existing OEM and adding a technology asset to its current program in the form of “Cosworth on Air,” it doesn’t appear it will be partnering with its old friend – Ford – for an engine down the road.
That’s the thought, at least, from Ford Motor Company Board of Directors member Edsel Ford II, in comments made at a private event, discovered by the More Front Wing website.
“No, no, no,” Ford said, via MFW. “I’ll be six feet under. No way. Not a chance.”
He added, “I’ve talked to Jamie (Allison, Director of Ford Racing) a lot about it. He, Raj (Nair, Group VP of Global Product Development), I don’t think any of us really want to go to IndyCar racing.”
Ford’s involvement in other forms of motorsports include NASCAR, the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship with its Roush Yates-prepped EcoBoost 3.5L V6 turbocharged engine, and also the Red Bull Global Rallycross series.
Ford, and Allison, have said repeatedly to industry insiders that it wants to focus on production-based engines. The current IndyCar engine regulations do not allow for that; the regulations require a bespoke engine just for the series, in the 2.2L V6 turbocharged formula which Chevrolet and Honda, and the Judd-built Lotus in 2012, have developed engines for.
Cosworth, meanwhile, will need to seek another OEM if it wants to get back in the game.
Ford last raced in the Indianapolis 500 in 1996, the first in the Indy Racing League era and still under USAC sanction, with a 1995 Reynard chassis and a turbocharged Ford-Cosworth XB engine powering Buddy Lazier’s No. 91 Hemelgarn Racing entry to victory. Ford-Cosworth powered several others in that year’s field, before the 1997 season saw a change in engine regulations to normally aspirated power plants.
The Ford-Cosworth relationship maintained through 2007 through various open-wheel iterations of what was CART, then later morphed into Champ Car, before the series ran its final race at Long Beach in 2008.