Apr 25, 2014, 5:24 PM EDT
Come on in, the more the merrier.
That appears to be the reaction from Chevrolet officials on the possibility that Cosworth may be returning to IndyCar.
Chevrolet IndyCar program manager Chris Berube told Autosport he believes Cosworth would be able to compete equally with Chevrolet and Honda, the only current engine suppliers to the IndyCar series.
“I don’t have any information one way or the other as to what Cosworth’s doing, but there’s no hiding the fact that we would welcome another manufacturer into the series,” Berube told Autosport. “The way the formula is in the series right now, I think they could be competitive.
“This is not a ‘He who spends the most money wins’ scenario. If they have the experience that their name suggests, I think the opportunity to be competitive is there.”
Cosworth CEO Hal Reisiger said earlier this year that his company is exploring both IndyCar and Formula One potential initiatives. Cosworth dominated the Indianapolis 500 from 1978 to 1996, winning 12 times, first with Al Unser in 1978 and most recently with Buddy Lazier in the CART-boycotted 1996 edition of the 500.
Although everything is still conceptual at this point, it’s likely Cosworth — if it decides to go forward — would likely have an engine program ready for the 2016 Indy 500 and then be a full IndyCar series supplier in 2017.
Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles, who also oversees the IndyCar circuit, said the series has had discussions with Cosworth.
“I can confirm we did meet with Cosworth and it was productive,” he said. “We expect this dialogue to continue, but nothing formal has been agreed to or defined at this point.
“Unfortunately that’s all I can disclose at this moment, as the conversations are obviously still in the infancy stage.”
If IndyCar were to request and receive IndyCar approval to join the series as an engine manufacturer, it would need to align itself with an Original Engine Manufacturer (OEM), much like Chevy’s partnership with Ilmor.
The most likely prospect for Cosworth would likely be Ford, which it previously was associated with. Autosport said both sides have had preliminary discussions, as well as Cosworth talking to other OEMs.
Follow me @JerryBonkowski