Volkswagen Motorsport boss Kris Nissen reckons it is unlikely that any part of the VW group will go ahead with an IZOD IndyCar Series program in the near future.
Audi, Volkswagen and Porsche – all part of the VW/Audi group – had joined Honda and Fiat for initial talks over IndyCar's future engine rules package, which is set to be introduced in 2012. But Nissen does not see the brands committing to the American category in the short term.
"I am not 100 percent sure of the latest status. But I think it is not realistic for the moment that the VW group will do it," he told AUTOSPORT. He believes the time is not yet right for VW to expand its racing involvement, and that IndyCar needs to be in a stronger position before the German firm can commit to it.
"First of all, all parts of the group have motorsport activities already, and we need to look closely at the budgets for these," said Nissen. "We need to concentrate on what we are doing. Also IndyCar needs to settle down, and it looks like it is getting better. America needs to settle down; the car market needs to be stable again."
The whole IndyCar Series field presently uses Honda-powered Dallara chassis designs dating back to 2003. The Indy Racing League intends to keep spec chassis for the next-generation rules, but to open up engine competition and use turbocharged power units. The introduction of the new package has already been postponed one year to 2012 due to the recession.