The inaugural 1997 IRL race at
Walt Disney World is heralding the new era for the
League. The biggest change that people will notice
are the new cars - with chassis by the British
G-Force and Italian Dallara companies, and with new engines
from Oldsmobile and Nissan it's easy to feel enthusiastic
about a series which is finding its own feet following
the acrimonious split from CART.
testing it's seemed like the G-Force/Oldsmobile
Aurora pairing is the way to go. However, the Nissan
Infiniti engines have hardly had any running and are
still a little bit of a wild card. Throw in a range
of new and experienced Oval racers and you soon
realise that the IRL championship can in no way be as
predictable as the F1 which we're more used to covering
in the UK.
winter, Scott Goodyear set the fastest testing time
with speeds at the Mickyard of 168.145 mph and Galles
Racing's Davy Jones right behind at 167.777 mph.
race itself many have raised concerns over the potential
reliability problems that could be faced. Both the engine
packages are very new and you really have to feel that
it could be a lottery out there. It even looked at
one point as if only twelve or so cars would be
starting. Had that happened, and if reliability
became a factor, then it could easily have turned
into a race that echoed F1's Monaco GP last year in
which Olivier Panis took a surprise victory.
favourites for the 1997 Indy 200 at the WDW Speedway
must include the always impressive Tony Stewart, last
year's Indy 500 winner Buddy Lazier a favourite, and
a good chance for current points leader Mike Groff.