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Should Lotus-engine supplied IndyCar teams be allowed to jump to Honda or Chevy? - UPDATED

Edmund Jenks 2012/04/20 19:51:12
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Lotus Legion may not be at full strength at Indy500

There is trouble in the teams that make up the DW12's outfitted with
the Lotus/Judd engine and this real issue may show itself before the
crown jewel race of the 2012 season.

Marshall Pruett of SPEED.com published an exclusive report
highlighting the pressures of a sport that combines technology,
competition, and advertising promotion as a history-making business
enterprise.

Basically two of the four teams are so unhappy with the fact that
Lotus, while not missing its commitment to field engines for races this
season, has been really behind on the fulfillment of its commitment to
meet the competitive demands of the series. Lotus Dragon Racing (LDR)
did not have an engine to mount into one of their two cars (four-time
ChampCar World Series Champion, Sebastien Bourdais) before the St.
Petersburg race until the very evening before (Thursday) the first
practice on Friday. Despite seeing some promising performance in the
first two of three races from the four-time ChampCar World Series
Champion, the overall performance and the timing of the delivery of
engines does not allow any time for testing and this has effected all of
the teams that are in the Lotus Legion - Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA),
Lotus Dragon Racing (LDR), HVM Racing, and Lotus Dreyer Reinbold Racing
(DRR).

This becomes a little like one of those what came first situations
... the chicken or the egg. Worse, is this situation even solvable?

No timely delivery equals no testing / no testing equals no
performance results and feedback / no performance eventually leads to no
advertisers to sponsor the car.

The main focus is beginning to place pressure on the decisions that
need to be made by the series and the business viability of having a
Lotus/Judd engine in a car when teams can not be assured of having
engines to test and be competitive. Breach of contract filings from the
teams in the Lotus Legion are being delivered to the manufacturer -
where this goes, no one knows.

The IZOD IndyCar Series key person who will have to make a decision,
and soon, on what to do next and avert a true mutiny within the Lotus
Legion and a potential disaster is Will Phillips, IndyCar’s VP of
Technology.

Continue reading on Examiner.com



IndyCar's
Lotus Legion becomes less by two out of five - gone are Bryan Herta
Autosports and Dreyer Reinbold Racing. Side-by-side racing here at Long
Beach looking for new engines are Alex Tagliani (L) and Oriol Servia.
Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2012)


UPDATE:


Lotus Raises IndyCar Commitment
Lotus Press Release – 24 April 2012


When Lotus entered the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series, the regulatory
requirement to supply multiple teams and the late timing of Lotus’ entry
placed a significant restriction on the development programme. It was
clear from the start that the 2012 season was going to be a huge
challenge as Lotus debuted its IndyCar engine, but it was a challenge
that Lotus was determined to meet.


Lotus was further hindered by unanticipated difficulties caused by
the widely reported change of ownership and the subsequent restrictions
on resources. To have achieved a top ten position under these
circumstances is pretty impressive.


That said, Lotus has acknowledged that whilst the engine has
demonstrated a lot of promise, minimal testing has resulted in
reliability issues.


Having now had the experience and feedback from the first three races
of the season, Lotus undertook a strategic review of its position to
decide what course of action would be in the best interests of IndyCar
and the teams it supports.


Following this review, Lotus is pleased to announce in cooperation
with IndyCar that, whilst it remains fully committed to IndyCar in the
long term, Lotus has taken the decision to reduce the number of cars it
runs from five to three for the remainder of the season. As a
consequence of this decision, Lotus has made offers to Bryan Herta
Autosport LLC and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing LLC to end the agreements
with them. Bryan Herta Autosport LLC will not participate in any
further races as a Lotus team and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing LLC will
race one more time in Brazil next weekend.


Going forward, Lotus is excited to be working closely with Lotus HVM
Racing, the original partner team and Lotus Dragon Racing, who delivered
Lotus’ best result so far this season. Lotus wishes Bryan Herta
Autosport LLC and Dreyer & Reinbold LLC the very best of luck for
the future.


Lotus also intends to continue to assist its engine supplier Engine
Developments Limited (EDL) by providing additional resources and
financial support to expedite the development program. The details of
the arrangement are currently being finalised and the additional support
should result in an increased engine performance for the rest of the
season.


Claudio Berro, Director of Motorsport Group Lotus, said: “Lotus
in IndyCar is like David versus Goliath. We are and always will be a
niche British sports car company built for the few not the many. That
said I’m delighted with our solution and I can assure everybody that the
actions were taken after careful consideration and will assist in
ensuring the brand’s high racing ambitions and the high expectations of
the IndyCar community are realised.”


Randy Bernard, CEO IndyCar, commented: “IndyCar is committed to
ensuring that our teams and manufacturers have a platform to remain
competitive. We support Lotus’ decision and will assist Dreyer &
Reinbold Racing and Bryan Herta Autosport in securing engine support for
the remainder of the season.”


ENDS


Truthfully … how in the HE-double toothpicks can Lotus say, as they
did in the title of their presser, “Lotus Raises IndyCar Commitment”
when they greatly reduce the talent (DRR’s Oriol Servia & BHA’s Alex
Tagliani) and car count. This action suggests that they are backing
away and limiting the chances of sharing testing information with the
one very-proven driver they have left – four-time ChampCar World Series
Champion (turbo-charged powered engines) Sebastien Bourdais (apologies
to Katherine Legge and Simona De Silvestro).

... notes from The EDJE

Read More: http://www.examiner.com/article/lotus-legion-may-n...

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