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1980's CART Engine Programs

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  • #16
    I think more than one published account said that the Patrick teams not only shipped the Ilmor engine over, but afterwards, it was boorishly "returned in pieces".

    The subsequent timeline saw Danny Sullivan leave and be replaced by Bobby Rahal from Galles-Kraco in the fall of 1991. (Rahal and Sullivan essentially swapped rides). Patrick was, for obvious reasons, going to be refused an Ilmor-Chevy A for 1992, which was going to leave Rahal in limbo. Rahal bought the team around December, and it became Rahal-Hogan Racing, and they got the Chevy.

    Doctorindy.com

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    • #17
      Originally posted by editor View Post

      A lot of truth, according to Ilmor. Ilmor officials said the shipping of a Chevy Indy V8 to Alfa by Pat Patrick was the spur that drove the engine maker to move away from selling engines to teams. Though Patrick said he owned his engines, Ilmor said it owned the IP. Ilmor said it became watchful when Patrick, who had announced his retirement from the sport, declined to sell his engines back to the manufacturer. Ilmor officials said they reasoned the only way to protect the company was to adopt leasing and to require that engine servicing be performed by authorized rebuilders.

      Ilmor said it didn't have any unaccounted for engines for latecomers, adding that it didn't even have an engine it could use for its own purposes back at the factory. With no extra engines, no extra personnel to tend to additional engines were there any and no capability to suddenly produce more engines, Ilmor's position was that it could not fill late requests. That train had left the station.


      Did Chip Ganassi when he took over the Patrick Racing effort late 1989 not also have the property rights on the engines in question?

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      • #18
        Originally posted by jandj View Post

        From an older thread about Howard:

        Then he likely would have been doing the engine work during the time frame described in the above posts.
        "For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children's future, and we are all mortal".

        John Kennedy at American University 1963

        "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power"

        A. Lincoln

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Indyote View Post

          Did Chip Ganassi when he took over the Patrick Racing effort late 1989 not also have the property rights on the engines in question?
          The alleged shipping over of the engine incident occurred in November 1989. Patrick claimed that Jim McGee, Mo Nunn, and Chip Ganassi were the ones responsible for doing it, and that he himself was 'away on a cruise vacation' when it happened. Patrick claimed he had no idea and had nothing to do with it. Whether that's true or not is probably up for debate, but in any case, Patrick took the blame and punishment for it happening.

          It looks like by the time the details of the "shipping" incident came to full light, Chip Ganassi Racing was already well-established (running Eddie Cheever in 1990-1991 in the Ilmor), but also was about to drop Ilmor anyway and switch over to the Ford-Cosworth XB program (1992).
          Doctorindy.com

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          • #20
            Ed Iskenderian reportedly quietly provided five slightly different profile camshafts to the Chaparral team to their specifications prior to the 1980 500. Engine man Mike Fanning did the comparison testing in Midland on them and one of these in house design sets ended up on the winning car of Johnny Rutherford.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Doctorindy View Post

              The alleged shipping over of the engine incident occurred in November 1989. Patrick claimed that Jim McGee, Mo Nunn, and Chip Ganassi were the ones responsible for doing it, and that he himself was 'away on a cruise vacation' when it happened. Patrick claimed he had no idea and had nothing to do with it. Whether that's true or not is probably up for debate, but in any case, Patrick took the blame and punishment for it happening.

              It looks like by the time the details of the "shipping" incident came to full light, Chip Ganassi Racing was already well-established (running Eddie Cheever in 1990-1991 in the Ilmor), but also was about to drop Ilmor anyway and switch over to the Ford-Cosworth XB program (1992).
              Thansk for your reply in this Doctor.

              just some thinking out loud, not intended as an offence or disagreement in what you wrote.
              I find it difficult to believe that Chip Ganassi was involved in the shipping of the engines to Italy. They were by that time to become pretty much his property so why should he allow them to be taken from under his hands and had them being treated in whatever manner that could have been harmful for the engines? As what appears to have kind of happened.
              Besides that, Ganassi has been quoted as having told that as early as 1989 he was the effective owner of all the hardware that the team used in 1989. And if he intended to make use of that hardware, I fnd it difficult to believe that he had it shipped to italy to help an upcoming opponent team, unless there was a massive reward of some kind for him involved. But given the sponsorship deal wit Target one would not think that a finacial reward was necessary for him to assist Alfa one way or another.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by editor View Post

                DFXs were like apples: There were so may varieties it wasn't easy to keep count. Team-built DFXs, Cosworth-built DFXs, independent engine builder-built DFXs, track- or circuit-specific DFXs and so on. Each variety was a DFX yet each was different. Differences included, but were not limited to, such things as wrist pins, cranks, cams, caps, valves and valve seats, liners, bearings, rings, pumps, flywheels, clearances, passages, doweling, materials, blocks, ancillaries, seals, pulleys, etc. For instance, a McLaren crank once differed from a VPJ crank;
                Who machined the crankshafts for them? Did they get the billets from Cosworth?

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Michael Ferner View Post
                  Engine shops did not "develop" Cosworth engines, they serviced them. Like Nicholson, Peck & Longford etc. in Europe. There's not much you can develop on a DFX except for perhaps the turbo ancillaries. Don't underestimate the effect service has on engine performance, so it's no wonder the teams wanted to exercise control. Many F1 teams did, too, in the DFV era (Hesketh, ATS etc.).

                  Larry Slutter basically "invented" the DFX for VPJ. Early in the going, the engines were called VPJ, not Cosworth. At some point, Cosworth sanctioned the VPJ engine development, and Slutter became head of Cosworth America. [sic]
                  Parts of the pulled quote appear to be contradictory and parts are inaccurate.

                  Engine shops did not develop Cosworth engines yet Larry Slutter invented the DFX while working at VPJ ... . The two statements seem incompatible. If engine shops did not develop Cosworth engines, Slutter could not have "invented" the DFX. At the time, Slutter worked for a team with an engine shop, not for Cosworth, and Northampton acknowledged that it did not begin work to craft its interpretation of the DFX until after a number of American developers had their versions up and running. These developers included VPJ.

                  As stated in post 2, a great deal of development work had to be done to transform a donor DFV into a DFX. Keith Duckworth said that Cosworth sat back and watched the development work undertaken by others, later taking the plunge itself because it saw a business opportunity. He added that teams developing the DFX threw away a huge number of the parts Cosworth used in the DFV, developing their own, stouter parts, pieces and systems for the progressing forced induction engine. Duckworth also pointed to bottom end changes, block changes and materials changes teams developed. Some of those developments were adopted by Cosworth when it joined the fray later; some weren't, he said. Though the Cosworth-developed DFX was conservative in keeping with company policy, Duckworth and other Cosworth officials said they followed the American developers' lead when evolving their version of the engine.

                  Cosworth never endorsed VPJ's development of the DFX, according many Cosworth and VPJ officials. These include, but were not limited to, Duckworth, Parnelli Jones, Vel Miletich, John Barnard (who said he designed many of the parts, pieces and systems used in VPJ's DFX) and Jim Dilamarter. VPJ officials said that Duckworth scoffed when informed what the team was developing. Both they and Duckworth said Duckworth told them turbocharging the DFV for Indy car use was impossible. VPJ officials said that Duckworth turned a blind eye when he was invited to see the engine in action and to officially bless VPJ's accomplishment with a business opportunity. Duckworth instead poached Slutter for Cosworth's sudden DFX-inspired U.S. offshoot, according to VPJ. That offshoot, also based in Torrance, Calif., was not named named Cosworth America.

                  The statement that engine shops did not develop Cosworth engines obtained from Cosworth is baseless for other reasons, too. For instance, Nicholson McLaren Engines (not Nicholson) said it began developing McLaren's Cosworth engines soon after NME was established. NME developments for McLaren's DFVs included finding more power; developing a short-stroke version; developing new parts, pieces and materials for use in the V8. NME found itself in hot water when Cosworth deduced what MNE was up to. NME wasn't the only outside developer of Cosworth engines. EDL developed its own version of the venerable DFV.

                  By Peck and Longford were you referring to Langford and Peck?

                  By Hesketh, were you referring to HEL/HRE and not directly to the F1 team? By ATS, were you referring to ERE and not directly to the F1 team? Both had other DFV customers. ERE said it did development work on the DFV. HEL/HRE said it was ready to do develop work on the DFV.
                  Last edited by editor; 09-23-2022, 06:51 AM.

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                  • #24
                    Yes, "Cosworth America" was a shorthand for Cosworth Engineering, Inc., a name I couldn't recall from memory and which is easily confused with Cosworth Engineering Ltd., the mother company. Apologies also for misremembering the spelling of L&P and so on, it's not material to the case. As is your line about Slutter developing the DFX from a DFV, that's not what the OP and your original post was about.

                    I still wonder about your concept of "engine develoment", as many of the things you list are not developement but basic tasks of mechanics working on engines. So, again, my question: who machined the crankshafts for McLaren and VPJ? Where did they get the billets from? Is this about the mid seventies, before Cosworth involvement with the engine, or is it relevant to the discussion about engine shops in the mid eighties and DFX "development"?

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Indyote View Post

                      Thansk for your reply in this Doctor.

                      just some thinking out loud, not intended as an offence or disagreement in what you wrote.
                      I find it difficult to believe that Chip Ganassi was involved in the shipping of the engines to Italy. They were by that time to become pretty much his property so why should he allow them to be taken from under his hands and had them being treated in whatever manner that could have been harmful for the engines? As what appears to have kind of happened.
                      Besides that, Ganassi has been quoted as having told that as early as 1989 he was the effective owner of all the hardware that the team used in 1989. And if he intended to make use of that hardware, I fnd it difficult to believe that he had it shipped to italy to help an upcoming opponent team, unless there was a massive reward of some kind for him involved. But given the sponsorship deal wit Target one would not think that a finacial reward was necessary for him to assist Alfa one way or another.
                      I was thinking about the timeline last night as well. So I did a little bit more digging.

                      It seems that Fittipaldi/Marlboro leaving (to go to Penske) was known by early October 1989. That was the first domino to fall. At that juncture, the team (still being referred to as "co-owned" by Pat Patrick & Chip Ganassi...with Ganassi said to have controlling interest) elected to absorb the Alfa-Romeo engine program originally spearheaded by Alex Morales Motorsports. Patrick breaking off and running Alfa as his own outfit didn't seem to be in the conversation yet (publicly, at least).

                      They shipped the engines over to Italy in November of 1989. Then in January 1990, Chip and Pat announced they were splitting up. Chip got most of the team assets, the shop, the two PC-18 chassis, and the Ilmor engines. He hired Eddie Cheever. Pat got many/most of the crew members (McGee, Nunn), stayed with the Alfa, and took up residence in the old Morales racing shop. Presumably he acquired the assets of Morales, including driver Roberto Guerrero, then picked up Miller (which left Penske).

                      Putting things into the timeline, things are perhaps a little clearer. There seems to have been a falling out between Chip and Pat around December 1989. Maybe what actually led to the divorce a few weeks later was in fact the "shipping" incident. As for Target, they weren't on board until March.
                      Doctorindy.com

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