Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lotus Consolidates INDYCAR Team Line-up to Improve 2012 Results

Photo Credit: Group Lotus

“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.” Group Lotus made this admission in a statement as they dropped news Tuesday changing their first-year commitment to the IZOD INDYCAR Series.

Citing lack of resources and minimal track testing, Group Lotus was forced into making a decision under a strategic review. Realizing their regular supply of engines to five IZOD INDYCAR Series teams was spreading the engine brand's efforts too thinly on the tour, the decision was made to withdraw support from two single-car teams. Ahead of the Indianapolis 500, Lotus is cutting ties to Dreyer & Reinbold Racing as well as 2011 Indy 500 winning-team Bryan Herta Autosport.

In the official statement from Group Lotus, the engine supplier conveyed the announcement as positive move to build a stronger race weekend presence through the upcoming events in the 2012 IZOD INDYCAR Series schedule. Claudio Berro, Director of Motorsport Group Lotus, referenced the freshman effort in the North American open wheel racing series as “David versus Goliath” fight. By reducing the availability of their twin-turbocharged V-6 engine, Lotus intends to better focus their development towards an equal playing field with Chevrolet and Honda. Through the rest of the 2012 IZOD INDYCAR Series tour, Lotus will center their open wheel racing program around HVM Racing and the Lotus Dragon Racing organization. Lotus is also going to add more resources and monetary assistance to the remaining efforts in the series.

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will run Lotus engines for the final time for the upcoming Sao Paulo Indy 300 race this Sunday. Last week, Bryan Herta Autosport announced they were going to sit out the IZOD INDYCAR Series round in Brazil so the team can focus on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway activities from mid-to-late May. While two teams are now forced to seek out new engines, Randy Bernard, CEO of the INDYCAR sanctioning body, insures the #98 Bryan Herta Autosport car as well as the #22 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing will have engine power for the Indy 500. “We support Lotus' decision and will assist Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and Bryan Herta Autosport in securing engine support for the remainder of the season” As of Wednesday, neither Bryan Herta Autosport or Dreyer & Reinbold Racing have issued an official statement in direct reaction to Lotus' decision.

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