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Specific question re: Ferrari's IndyCar project


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#1 pebright

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 18:27

Even though the project was stillborn, Ferrari's construction of an Indycar in 1986 is still a fascinating piece of history. I've got a specific question regarding the project, and I've heard conflicting answers from different sources:
Does anybody out there know the reason for Ferrari having scrapped the project?
I have heard two answers to this question:
1) John Barnard demanded that they abort the project because it was too much of a distraction from the F1 effort.
2) The reason for the project (the political move against the FIA for banning turbos and threatening to disallow V12s under the proposed new engine regs) was obviated once the FIA gave in and allowed V12s.
Could the real answer be a combination of the two answers, or is one of these clearly off base?

Also, does anybody know if any of the knowledge gained in this program was eventually filtered down to Alfa Romeo during their miserable campaign in CART? I know that much of their technology was stolen from Ilmor when Pat Patrick (not so) secretly shipped one of the leased engines over to Alfa for inspection, but I was also wondering if Ferrari's engine work went completely unrewarded.

One last question: Does anybody know anything about how far the program progressed, and how successful it might have been? I know that Michele Alboreto had been doing some testing of the car at Fiorano, so at least the car was track-worthy. However, that would also imply that it actually was not very far advanced since the car hadn't run on an oval, and an oval track car is a very different beast from a road-track car.

Thanks for any input!

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#2 gdecarli

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 22:49

IIRC the car was ready but it never run a single lap in Fiorano or nowhere else. It was something like a message to FISA, I don't think that Barnard had noting to do with it. By the way: was Barnard in Ferrari at that time? I don't recall exactly, but I don't think so...
I don't think there was any link between Ferrari and Alfa Romeo.

#3 pebright

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Posted 02 October 2003 - 04:51

OK, here's what I remember about Barnard and Ferrari:
I believe that he joined in 1987, right? I am basing that on the fact that the 1988 car was the first one he designed for the Scuderia, so I assume he joined the previous year.
As I recall, the car was originally seen in 1986. At the time Gustav Brunner was Ferrari's designer, but I don't know if that was only for the F1 cars or if it also included the IndyCar project.
So when Barnard joined, that would have been right around the time the axe fell on the IndyCar project.
Is this right?

#4 Henri Greuter

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Posted 02 October 2003 - 06:53

When you see the car, it looks much like an enlarged and slightly flattened 1985 RAM-Hart, the Gustav Brunner effects are obivous. Compared with the Lola's & March's of that time, it was a different looking car but neat looking for sure.
From what I remember, the car was tested in Italy and a link with Bobby Rahal to drive the car too.
About the engine, it was passed on and improved, modified ect. for the Alfa project of '89-91 as a starter but then, at the end of '89 Pat Pattrick (who took over the Alfa project in 1990) shipped two Ilmor Chevrolet engines to Milan so Alfa had the opportunity to inspect the most successful engine within CART of the time. No doubt that the later engines benefitted from this act!

It has always been my understanding that the Indy project was of secondary status and used as an blackmail option to convince FIA to allow atmo V12's. But if given decent backing and support from outside, who knows....
Given the success of factory teams with F1 experience in CART (Ligier! Alfa & Porsche in later years) I doubt if Ferrari would have been very successfull, let alone be welcome for the American teams. On the other hand, the prestige of Ferrari participation may have sweetened CART for a while.

Barnard joined in '87 and had nothing to do with the Indy project at all.

Henri Greuter

#5 gdecarli

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Posted 02 October 2003 - 09:13

As I have no magazine of that period at home (I hope to move them next weekend), I'm looking for some info on the net about this matter.
I found some info on an old Atlas F.1 FAQ. This is one picture copied from that page.

Posted Image

I recall something different, I will check and let you know.
I.e.: IIRC Bobby Rahal went to Maranello, but I'm quite sure that he never tested this car. Is it correct or I'm wrong?...

Ciao,
Guido

#6 pebright

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Posted 02 October 2003 - 13:43

Yes, I also recall that Bobby Rahal was the intended driver, even though it is not mentioned in the old Atlas FAQ. I recall the Rahal link mentioned in a Road & Track article from about 7-8 years ago.

But let's get back to the original question:
Was the reason for the project one of the following, a combination of the following, or neither of the following:
1) Ferrari got what it wanted out of the FIA, so the project was no longer politically necessary
2) When Barnard signed on he demanded the end of the project to eliminate it as a distraction from the F1 program

The FAQ mentions Mr. Nye, so perhaps he can shed some light on this affair?

#7 zer0

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Posted 03 October 2003 - 05:27

If I remember correctly, either Bobby Rahal or Rick Mears did test the car at Indy and since it never made it anywhere further it is now at Indy on display in some plexiglass case. A lovely relic to cherish - a one time dream... hopefully one day we will get a new one - chances are in '06 CART will wind up with new engine manufacturers and new chasses - and something exotic may be born... let's hope... :drunk:

zerO

#8 masterhit

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Posted 03 October 2003 - 05:35

Originally posted by gdecarli
As I have no magazine of that period at home (I hope to move them next weekend), I'm looking for some info on the net about this matter.
I found some info on an old Atlas F.1 FAQ. This is one picture copied from that page.

Posted Image

I recall something different, I will check and let you know.
I.e.: IIRC Bobby Rahal went to Maranello, but I'm quite sure that he never tested this car. Is it correct or I'm wrong?...

Ciao,
Guido


Therev was me thinking that Barnard was resposible for the 'radical' curved radiators and sloping nose of Ferrari 1989 car, the 639.

Now I can see that they are both heavily based on Gustav Brunner's Ferrari Indycar design.

#9 pebright

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Posted 03 October 2003 - 16:54

Originally posted by zer0
If I remember correctly, either Bobby Rahal or Rick Mears did test the car at Indy and since it never made it anywhere further it is now at Indy on display in some plexiglass case. A lovely relic to cherish - a one time dream... hopefully one day we will get a new one - chances are in '06 CART will wind up with new engine manufacturers and new chasses - and something exotic may be born... let's hope... :drunk:

zerO


Neither Bobby nor Rick ever drove the car, although Bobby is thought to have agreed in principle to be the driver. And I don't think that the car ever crossed the pond, either. It never ran anywhere besides Fiorano, and it is not at the Indy museum.

#10 Rainer Nyberg

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Posted 03 October 2003 - 17:58

A couple of other pictures of the stillborn Ferrari Indy project of the 1980s.

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The engine which I believe was used by Alfa Romeo a few years later.

#11 doc540

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Posted 03 October 2003 - 18:18

Am I seeing things or are the intake runners equal length like headers?

If not, then the intake area of the heads must be on the sides with the popoff valve and the exhaust being in the galley.


hmmmmmmmmmm......

#12 zer0

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Posted 05 October 2003 - 16:48

Hey Pebright,
most probably you're right, but over the years I've had heard numerous stories and don't now what to believe anymore. Don't know any more than you do and would like to know more about that project myself.

There are a zillion of Ferrari books and chances are that one of them might have a chapter devoted to it - finding it is another ballgame. There are a few good motorsports related bookstores in NYC - on 53rd bet. 5th & Madison is/was my favorite little shop.

I really don't know what else to suggest. ;) :cry:

zerO

#13 gdecarli

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Posted 25 October 2003 - 01:48

Looking for something else, I found news about Bobby Rahal first (or only? I don't know) test at Fiorano, in 1985.
Bobby Rahal had 48 laps (144 km) with a March 85C: his best time was 1'12"74. I don't have more info at the moment, but I think it was at end of 1985, maybe October or November.

F.1 record at that time was 1'04"92, scored by Michele Alboreto in February 1985 but of course Rahal was not going to set any new record during his test! :)

Ciao,
Guido

(info from Autosprint 6/1986 page 30)

#14 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 18:37

Walking through the Galleria Ferrari last week, I took the following shots of the Ferrari 1985 Indy Car. Two years ago it was also in the Galleria, but in the auditorium, making it hard to take some detail shots.

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#15 David M. Kane

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 18:51

I believe the car is still at the Galleria, at least it was 2 years ago. I have been to the Indy Museum 6 times in the last 3 years and I have never seen it there.

Who told you it was in Indy?

#16 Henri Greuter

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 06:42

Originally posted by David M. Kane
I believe the car is still at the Galleria, at least it was 2 years ago. I have been to the Indy Museum 6 times in the last 3 years and I have never seen it there.

Who told you it was in Indy?



I don't know about the Indy museum in recent years but I have seen the car there in January 1994. And to be honest: with the current situation within Indy and the policy of the IMS museum to follow suit I wonder if the car will ever go to IMS museum ever again.
But take my word for it: I can't make scans of my pics that approve it but in Jan. '94, the car was at IMs, standing in the right wing of the building, the March-Porsche 90P and Guthrie's Wildcat standing next to it.


henri

#17 Twin Window

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 06:55

Originally posted by Arjan de Roos

Walking through the Galleria Ferrari last week, I took the following shots of the Ferrari 1985 Indy Car.

Arjan, did you happen to notice whether the Agip logos have been removed from all the old chassis, or just from the Indycar?

#18 David M. Kane

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 16:46

1994, then that is possible. I was there each year for the last 4 years, it must of been on loan. If you ever figure out what Tony George is thinking, let the rest of us know!

#19 RTH

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 17:00

Originally posted by Arjan de Roos


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What a most attactive car without all the fins,boards, and junk hanging off cars these days

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#20 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 18:14

Originally posted by Twin Window
Arjan, did you happen to notice whether the Agip logos have been removed from all the old chassis, or just from the Indycar?


The only non Schumacher/Shell single seaters present at the galleria were a nice 500 F2, the 1964 158, a 166 F2 and the Indy car. The only thing Boxer was a T3 gear box. So no cars present from the Agip era. No sensorship on the paintings on the wall behind the Indy Car though.

But on the other hand: Agip is constructing a petrol station neighbouring the Ferrari factory on the south-east corner on the Via Abetone Inferiore.

E.g. this one
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#21 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 18:21

Sorry there was another none Schumacher Ferrari as well:

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#22 Henri Greuter

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 06:30

Sorry guys but I am absolutely worthless in trying to post a picture in a message.
Will never learn it.
But I do have a pic of the CART Ferrari at IMS and the Info board that was standing next to it.

BUT GODDAMNED I CAN"T POST THE F****NG THINGS!!!


Someone willing to receive the pix by private mail and posting them for me instead?
Then at least I can share them with you after all.

Sorry for the inconvenience but I am just hopeless wiith computers.


Henri

#23 David Hyland

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 07:57

In support of these statements:

Originally posted by pebright
I know that Michele Alboreto had been doing some testing of the car at Fiorano

Originally posted by gdecarli
IIRC Bobby Rahal went to Maranello, but I'm quite sure that he never tested this car.

this page has a picture of Alboreto driving the car (well, he's sitting in it, on a track - presumably it's moving :) )

and this post states that Rahal drove a March at Fiorano but not the Ferrari, and makes reference to a chapter in Rahal's book.

David.

#24 Henri Greuter

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 08:30

Originally posted by David Hyland
In support of these statements:
this page has a picture of Alboreto driving the car (well, he's sitting in it, on a track - presumably it's moving :) )

David.



The car at the bottom of that page in the middle is a March 85C, definitely not the CART Ferrari.
Interesting to see a pic of Michele in it anyway.


Henri

#25 Twin Window

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 08:37

Yes it is.

I wonder if the Ferrari engine was ready before their chassis, and run in the March muletta?

#26 Henri Greuter

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 09:23

Originally posted by Twin Window
Yes it is.

I wonder if the Ferrari engine was ready before their chassis, and run in the March muletta?


I've heard reports that the 85C-Cossie was ran at Fiorano in order to have suitable data to compare the Ferrair built contender with.
This could well be the Cossie-powered 85C. And since the lay-out of the turbo with exhausts and inlet manifolds was totally different for the Ferrari V8 than used on the Cossie (and the Buick V6...), I wonder if they ever fitted the Ferrari V8 into a March. Seems to me that qyite some modifications in order to `mate` the Ferrari onto the March was required.

My guess is that this is a Cossie-Powered 85C.

Henri

Henri

#27 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 10:51

Originally posted by Henri Greuter
Sorry guys but I am absolutely worthless in trying to post a picture in a message.
Will never learn it.


Henri


Henri, I can give you a one minute course in Uithoorn to help you. Imageschack is quite handy if you know the trick. "Monkey see, ..."

#28 David Hyland

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 15:04

Originally posted by Henri Greuter
The car at the bottom of that page in the middle is a March 85C, definitely not the CART Ferrari.
Interesting to see a pic of Michele in it anyway.

D'oh! I think my brain must have said "It's red, so it must be the Ferrari!" (Never mind that the two cars look very different).

#29 Henri Greuter

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Posted 18 September 2006 - 06:55

Originally posted by David Hyland
D'oh! I think my brain must have said "It's red, so it must be the Ferrari!" (Never mind that the two cars look very different).



No problem David: I'm glad you gave the link because it was great to see a color picture of Michele in the 85C but also see a pic of the original Ferrari engine with its for the time unusual exhaust-inletmanifold layout. Not since the Quadcam Ford/Foyt V8 had I seen any lay-out like this on an Indycar engine anymore.


henri

#30 edelweiss

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Posted 18 September 2006 - 18:52

Originally posted by Henri Greuter
Sorry guys but I am absolutely worthless in trying to post a picture in a message.
Will never learn it.
But I do have a pic of the CART Ferrari at IMS and the Info board that was standing next to it.

BUT GODDAMNED I CAN"T POST THE F****NG THINGS!!!


Someone willing to receive the pix by private mail and posting them for me instead?
Then at least I can share them with you after all.

Sorry for the inconvenience but I am just hopeless wiith computers.


Henri

Here are Henri's pics.

Posted Image

Posted Image


Please note: all rights of the pics are with Henri Greuter. I only host them - Edelweiss.

#31 David M. Kane

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Posted 18 September 2006 - 21:16

David:

With that exhaust layout, I wonder what it sounded like?

#32 stuartbrs

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Posted 18 September 2006 - 23:22

Motorsport Magazine did a feature on this car not too long ago. In it they said the car only ever ran 1 lap just for a systems check.

#33 Henri Greuter

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 06:37

Originally posted by edelweiss
Here are Henri's pics.
Please note: all rights of the pics are with Henri Greuter. I only host them - Edelweiss.




Thanks edelweiss for your hospitality.



Henri

#34 Henri Greuter

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 07:09

Originally posted by David M. Kane
David:

With that exhaust layout, I wonder what it sounded like?



David,

I think that the best comparisment on that is when listening to a Quadcam Turbo Ford of the late '70's and a Turbo Cosworth DFX of the same era. I realize there is a big difference between the rather elderly basic desig of the Quadcam (basicly an improved stockblock design) and the purebred Offy. But nevertheless.. this could be an indication.

I felt it interesting that Ferrari opted for this layout to begin with. The more while from 80-84 they used a similar principle (exhaust within the Vee) for the Turbo F1 engines. But remarkably, just when the Indycart project came from the drawing boards they followed the opposition in turbo location.
Got to say that it looks neat but I suppose that with the engine running at full throttle (boost & heat0 for longer perods of time, the bodywork above the exhaust might well burn up.


I also wondered: there were some differences for sure but how much influence was the 2.65 Lancia badged V8 engine used within the GpC LC2's for the Indycar engine.


Henri

#35 Henri Greuter

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 14:15

For they who want to own a spin off of the Ferrari Indycar project: here's the chance

http://www.burgol.ch...&id_voiture=198

But don't be fooled: the history given on the chassis is not correct.


Henri

#36 Rainer Nyberg

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 22:20

Originally posted by Henri Greuter
I also wondered: there were some differences for sure but how much influence was the 2.65 Lancia badged V8 engine used within the GpC LC2's for the Indycar engine.


Both were Ferrari developed, so some parts might have been reused in the Indy-engine.

But I think generally just the basic architecture of the Group C engine, remained. The early LC2 engines were 2599 cc, for 1984 they were just over 3-litres. The Indy engine seem to be revving much higher too at 11500 rpm, while the Group C unit was kept at 8800 rpm.

I can imagine that more bits were in common between the Ferrari-Indy engine and the Alfa-Indy V8.

#37 Stoatspeed

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 22:46

Originally posted by Henri Greuter
For they who want to own a spin off of the Ferrari Indycar project: here's the chance

http://www.burgol.ch...&id_voiture=198

But don't be fooled: the history given on the chassis is not correct.


Henri


This doesn't sound expensive for a throughbred single seat car "en ├ętat de marche" - unless the history probelms are major .... tell us more, Henri!

#38 David M. Kane

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 22:56

Given the March chassis plate, looks real to me. What is causing your doubts?

#39 Henri Greuter

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Posted 20 September 2006 - 06:59

Originally posted by David M. Kane
Given the March chassis plate, looks real to me. What is causing your doubts?



My doubts are based on the fact that I have received information that the two cars that were used in the race were the chassis number 1 and 3 and with that information being confirmed: 002 was most likely the car wrecked by Guerrero.

90CA 002?
Could be.
But no, it wasn't the Unser race car: that is 99.99 and more % sure.

Or chassis plates have been swapped....


Henri