Italian Edoardo Polli has confirmed his withdrawal from this year's championship in order to develop the HP 1075 race engine, the latest innovation from Mercury Marine, scheduled to make its Class I debut at the Indian Grand Prix in Mumbai on November 5-7.
Italian Edoardo Polli has confirmed his withdrawal from this year’s championship in order to develop the HP 1075 race engine, the latest innovation from Mercury Marine, scheduled to make its Class I debut at the Indian Grand Prix in Mumbai on November 5-7.
“Something had to be done to move the sport forward and I am more than happy to pull out and take on the burden of testing and development,” said Edoardo Polli.
The decision to introduce the Mercury engine into Class 1 was presented to the teams and put to the vote at an ‘open’ IOTA meeting held during the last round of the championship in Oslo.
“Class 1 must develop and attract more competitors at a sensible and competitive financial entry level,” commented Polli. “We do not have an active engine manufacturer at present and current running costs are extremely high. For a company like Mercury to be taking such an interest is very good news indeed. Hopefully by 2005 it will result in an engine that can either replace or compete against the more expensive Lamborghini’s.”
Initial trials in Italy proved very exciting when Britain’s five-time world champion, Steve Curtis, tested the new HP 1075 alongside Polli in his Victory built catamaran, Highlander.
“I’m sure we’re we’ve something here, “said Curtis after the trial. We accelerated up to 120mph with no problem at all and for an engine far below the cost of current Lamborghini’s this can only be a plus. I’m certain with more tuning it will give a very competitive performance”
Although Polli’s race boat needed re-rigging to accommodate the new power units the key area of focus was to find a suitable power parity to compete.
“In essence the engine has the same specification as the production unit but with one or two subtle changes,” commented Fred Hauenstein, Technical Director, Mercury Racing.
“One of the features is the boost control system which will need adjusting to de-tune the output from the existing 1075 hp but we will be looking to maintain reliability by retaining current RPM levels.”
The exact development programme and extent of Mercury’s involvement is still being discussed with IOTA but Fred Hauenstein is enthusiastic about the project.
“Mercury has a high performance image and to be involved in a series where this can be bolstered can only be good for us.”