Increasing Japanese interest in major European categories of motorsport was evidenced last month with the news that Cosworth Engineering has signed a deal to collaborate with Yamaha in the development of a new F3000 engine.
It will be ready by the end of 1987, but as yet there is no word as to whether this naturally-aspirated unit will presage the arrival of a 3.5-litre F1 engine for 1989.
It is particularly interesting that Yamaha should have chosen Cosworth, currently holding a near monopoly of F3000 engine supply with its ageing DFV V8, to carry out this work. The move suggests that the F3000 category certainly has a healthy future.
Meanwhile, the naturally-aspirated 3.5litre division of the F1 World Championship is due for some added spice. The works March team is examining the possibilities of a switch to Honda power, using a development of the engine currently powering the works F3000 Ralts. This engine would not be a formal works project, but a development carried out by English engine specialist John Judd’s Engine Developments concern at Rugby.
The Honda factory is also pressing on with a new naturally-aspirated 3.5-litre engine for Williams’ and Lotus’ use, and this will be of V10 configuration.