INDYCAR has named Darren Sansum managing director of engine development. He joins INDYCAR after a successful stint at Toyota Racing Development, which has won the past two manufacturer championships in NASCAR’s Cup series. Sansum has also previously worked for Ford Motor Co., Cosworth Technology and Ilmor Engineering.
In TRD’s NASCAR program, his focus was engine reliability and over the past four seasons the failure rate of Toyota’s engines was significantly reduced. Prior to that when Sansum was with Ilmor and serving as Team Penske’s NASCAR engine technical director from 2009-12, the team had zero engine failures in all of 2012 for its two Cup series cars, including the car for season champion Brad Keselowski. His ties to INDYCAR began in 2002 when he joined Ilmor as a development engineer.
In addition to supervising INDYCAR’s current engine regulations, Sansum will play a key role in developing the next generation of engine regulations for the Verizon IndyCar Series. A key parameter in creating the next engine package will be making it attractive to new manufacturers.
The 17-race Verizon IndyCar Series season begins with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 11. Teams will participate in an open test at ISM Raceway (formerly Phoenix Raceway) from Feb. 8-10.