Monday, March 12, 2012

INDYCAR: Will Lotus answer the Bell?

Otay, so that headline makes the Lotus IndyCar engine program sound a little worse off then I believe it actually is; BUTT! There certainly seemed to be a frothing occurring over last weekend’s “lack” of “Lotus-by-Judd” powered racing cars at Sebring’s open test Group-1 outing. (Mon-Tues) Yet the Group-2 running of three; count ‘em, three Loti-badged Dallaras Ontrack for the very first time ever I believe - certainly must be A New Track Record, eh?

When the Bryan Herta Autosports (BHA) entry of Alex Tagliani in their own chassis shared track time  with Oriel Servia - now driving the lone Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (DRR) entry during the morning session, saw Lotus double its output, albeit I was led to believe that this is a Lotus test mule chassis, and therefore I’m not sure if that means its got the same Judd ‘lump from the back of “Symona-Symona’s” (de Silvestro) HVM chassis or not? Since until now reportedly Lotus has been racking up frequent-flyer miles by shuttling a lone engine from test venues to England ‘N back - while the third Loti was the Dragon Racing car with Thy Leggy Juan, aka Katherine Legge at the controls; having finally gotten on track, albeit two days late.

As I’d read earlier SPEED’s Marshall Pruett noting that the Dragon dilemma on not having its two cars equipped with engines for its drivers prior to Monday’s first day of open testing was in regards to funding issues having not been fully sorted out between the two parties - before the powers-to-be At Lotus gave the go-ahead for a single engine to be flown out to Sebring on Wednesday; noting that the Dragon-flies would be pulling an all nighter in order to get a car up ‘N running before the end of Friday’s testing, with Dragon reportedly only having secured a single engine lease to date...

Therefore, it appears that there’s currently only three or four(?) Lotus 2.2-liter V-6 turbo ‘lumps in existence? Which surely doesn’t ooze confidence for the season opener, since there’s supposed to be five Loti’s on the grid, right? Hmm? Dragon has two chassis, with BHA, DRR & HVM having one apiece. Thus surely le ‘Hamburgular, nee Sebastain Bourdais must be questioning himself slightly? Although I’d presume it’s still his best option - especially with thee French Lion’s demise.

And now having read on TSO that all of the Lotus ‘lumps will be flown back Across thee Pond after testing, (minus one-lump) it  seems to me they’re gonna need some more engines; I mean, what happens if ‘Juan done BLOWN UP! During practice or qualifying? Although Honda and Chevy haven’t been without their own teething issues either. With both Target Boyz suffering maladies Thursday afternoon and Will Power playing Fireman Monday and then having a repeat episode of “Bowtie Rotisserie” on Tuesday...

Yet as I said before, Engine Developments Ltd is a very reputable engine manufacturer, just not exactly on the same solid financial backing of a “Parent” company at the moment, as I’d be quite happy to see Bourdais, Servia, ‘TAG (Alex Tagliani) “Symona-Symona,” although I’ve got a HUGE issue with her sponsor! Or HELL! Even thy Leggy Juan give the Honda & Chevy runners grief this year! Just remember that Katherine Legge hasn’t raced an Open Wheel Racing car in five-years or been in a car in a year-plus, so give her a chance...

NOTE
Joe Berkemeier of Trackside Online was nice enough to reply to my question about whose Loti ‘lump was in the back of DRR’s car - saying he thought all three teams were now utilizing their own engines; while ‘Kurty Cavin reported in Pit Pass that Dragon has now secured engine leases for both drivers...

1 comment:

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