Lotus to split with Dragon Racing (as well as Dreyer & Reinbold and Herta)

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    Joel Holland

    Curt Cavin reports that Lotus is releasing both DRR and BHA from their engine contracts. His source is ‘a senior IndyCar official’ (and Cavin doesn’t make stuff up). Article at:

    ‘Team officials could not be reached for comment, but it’s expected they will sign deals with Chevrolet and Honda in preparation for next month’s Indianapolis 500.’

    I’d expect Servia to magically pop up near the front now. I hope Bourdais can get a proper engine in his car ASAP


    I’ve not done the maths but they’re going to struggle to have many cars on the grid at the Indianapolis 500 this year. Will Alesi even qualify?


    Is Alesi even doing it any more? He’s not on the entry list and I haven’t heard anything from Lotus since they announced it.

    Prisoner Monkeys

    @jholland – Ironically, getting a Honda or Chevy engine will probably help both those teams immensely, since the Lotus engine is horrible.

    @keithcollantine – There are currently 35 entiries for Indy.

    @tommyb89 – Alesi will drive a Newman/Haas-prepared car, at least according to Wikipedia.

    Joel Holland

    @prisoner-monkeys No bones about it – this is fantastic news for DRR and Herta. Both have solid teams and very experienced drivers and so will be far more competitive with a proper engine.

    Bourdais has said “we’re going to get murdered” at Indy such is the power difference. If it is 35 entries the NQs will be Lotuses, unless someone else has a problem or Lotus seriously up their game. Alesi and Legge would be the marginals, given de Silvestro and Bourdais’ experience.


    Here’s the official line from Lotus.

    Note the headline, followed by “Lotus has taken the decision to reduce the number of cars it runs from five to three”.

    Lotus Raises IndyCar Commitment

    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.”


    Lotus seem to be involved in a lot of motorsport series, and their commitment to all of these seem shaky at least. Is their perogative to actually ruin all motorsport categories simultaneously, by pumping in a lot of money then taking it all away, creating a black hole scenario where all teams become cash strapped, fold, and then Lotus swoops in an creates a Lotus only series, thereby monopolising the entire planets motorsport series?


    So what does this mean for the future of Lotus engines in IndyCar? I guess they will use this season to test and evaluate what they do have and come back with more engines next year?


    David vs Goliath’s.

    Joel Holland

    Curt Cavin just tweeted that Dragon have terminated their Lotus deal.

    And then there were two: just Simona and Alesi in Lotus powered cars for Indy, presumably occupying positions 32 and 33. Wow. Shame my predicted battle between Jean and Katherine Legge for 32nd on the grid won’t come to fruition.

    At least now Bourdais will get a chance to show what he can do. He was mega at Barber, hopefully with a decent engine he’ll be able to do a bit of giant-killing as he did last year in the Coyne car.


    Makes me giggle when you call it ‘giant killing’, considering he’s a 4-time American open-wheel champ. I’m cunfused as to why he isn’t doing better (engines aside… last year too)

    Joel Holland

    It’s giant-killing because of the team. Coyne last year and now Dragon have nothing like the sort of resources Penske, Ganassi, Andretti and KV have. He was mighty last year too – his run of top-six finishes over the second half of the season was very impressive. The only cars beating him were those having several times the money thrown at them. People were falling over themselves to praise him after Barber, and not just people on forums: people in the sport and in the know.


    His drive at Barber was brilliant. So does the prospect of a better engine mean Katherine Legge may finish somewhere other than last? Probably not.


    Wow, look out for Seb now!

    I didn’t think IndyCar would allow any more Lotus defections. Are they going to make it through the season?

    Joel Holland

    Roger Penske on his son’s team’s engine switch: “I want to see him in the race (Indy) with a good engine because he’s got a helluva driver in Bourdais. I want to see him be successful.” From Marshall Pruett’s story on

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