Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Lotus v Lotus - in a different guise

This past Sunday night, the prettiest Freak threw out the comment ‘bout why is the Lotus F1 concern so HOT! With Thee ‘Kimster, nee Kimi Raikkonen being on top of the time sheets - while the Lotus IndyCar concern is so far off the pace? Whale, I’m paraphrasing Crash Gladys’s exact comments here, but you get the jist of it, right?

To which led me wanting to “TWEET” the following; Oh Yeah, that’s right I DON’T FREAKIN’ tweet; Crikeys Mates!

As I wanted to point out the following Tiny Bubbles here... Like I hope that most of us do realize that there’s a reason they call F1 Pre-season testing the Winter Olympics, right? Hmm? Lotus had to cancel running in the second test due to design issues regarding the chassis front rear wishbone apparently having a ‘Wee bit too much weight whittled off of it - being repaired back at Enstone before last week’s final test outing.

Then Shuhzamm - was magically fastest in round-3 - Tuh Duh! Just sayin’ - sure sounds like some good ‘Ol fashion Damage Control or PR-speak to Mwah. Like do you really expect the Red bulls to be that far off the pace, come Melbourne?

Although I’d be most happy to see thee REAL Iceman & his Oomphlatts; Hya! Defeat Master ‘Zebb (Vettel) and the entire grid somewhere this season, say either Spa-Francorchamps or Austin - preferably Austin, since it’ll most likely be my only Grand Prix this year; whilst I’m certain Kimi, Eric Boullier and the whole Lotus F1 concern will be hoping victory comes much earlier in the season.

And the more I thought about it, the more I began wunderin’ if Crash was just simply trying to wind-us up? As I’d like to think most Open Wheel Racing devotees easily realize the difference between the Lotus (“V4”) Formula 1concern vs. the “Lotus-by-Judd” IndyCar engine start-up program.

As after all, Lotuses F1 roots go all the way back to the Toleman F1 team which made its F1 debut in 1981 before morphing into Benetton 26yrs ago after being bought out by the Italian clothing concern, who installed some character known formerly as Flavour Flav, and more recently as “HMS Monogram,” who Y’all may know better as the instigator of the Singapore CrashGate, none other then Flavio Briatore.

Yet for ALL of his faults, nevertheless Flav did indeed guide first Benetton to two World Championships and one Constructors title with some chap named DER TERMINATOR, aka Michael Schumacher before being dismissed from his Team Principal role. Then Briatore was reinserted to his post when Renault bought the team and led them to a “Double-Double” en route to winning the Drivers & Constructors titles back-to-back with Fredrico Suave, a.k.a. Fernando Alonso in 2005-06.

As the reason the Lotus chassis is named E20 is to signal the Enstone base’s twentieth year of design - and their existence, while the team is propelled by the past two year’s winning French engine Renault, which should theoretically make it a potent weapon in Räikkönen’s hands, provided the Finn hasn’t lost any of his legendary speed - as I’m certain ‘Ol ‘Hobbo, aka David Hobbs would proclaim his “Attachments” are still extremely large; Hooha!

Meanwhile, when I think of Lotus, I NEVER ever consider them as an engine manufacturer; Hmm? Guess that makes me one of them forlorned “Purists,” eh? As I will forever envision the British marque as the Team Lotus winning concern of Colin Chapman - which perhaps has something to do with Dany Bahar’s penchant of hiring everyone ‘N their cousins to be running around thee globe in black & gold John Player Special (JPS) paint schemes, w/the exception of “Symona-Symona” (de Silvestro) running the ‘Loti green in order to make her Glow-in-the-Dark IndyCar sponsor happy...

Thus with all of the turmoil over who’ll ultimately control the Lotus Cars concern, is it any surprise that this first year late to thee party “Lotus-by-Judd” brigade, which is “Badge Engineering” at its finest. Has been behind the eight ball since its surprise announcement to become an engine supplier for the 2012 Indy Car Series campaign. Especially since we don’t know all of the ins ‘N outs of their engine supply deal, albeit Randy Bernard has had to occasionally press the Lotus concern for answers, as it now appears there’ll be five Loti badged entrants at St Pete.

The real 2.2-liter V-6 turbo ‘lump maker is Engine Developments Ltd, originally a partnership founded between JohnJHudd and Sir ‘JackBlack (Jack Brabham) in the early 1970’s - with this original engine concern having first set up doing work with Repco and Cosworth ‘lumps in Formula One, along with manufacturing an IndyCar winning engine with Bobby Rahal as its pilot at  Pocono, while also having produced both V-8 & V-10 Formula 1 variants during the late 1980’s to mid ‘90’s during the 3.5 & 3.0-liter eras.

Yet unfortunately it seems the common theme for all of Judd’s single seater powerplants seems to be a lack of propelling thee “B-I-G” teams, having run with Williams as a stop-gap measure, Brabham in its waning days and the Minnowesqe Leyton House March team to name just a few. While this season’s Indy Car teams are  currently Dragon, Dreyer & Reinbold, Bryan Herta and HVM with Mike Shank and possibly Eric Bachelart waiting in the wings; as with NO disrespect, but, these are theoretically not the teams one conjures up when thinking of Indy Cars powerhouses, eh?

Yet the Judd V-10 has been a winner in the American Le Mans Series and I still think le ‘Hamburgular (Sebastian Bourdais) and “Suitcase” Servia - Oh-Oh-Oh Oriel! Along with ‘TAG (Alex Tagliani) shouldn’t be counted out. Yet you’ve just gotta put this ‘lil “Privateer” engine concern vs. the might of Chevrolet and Honda into perspective, especially when unfairly comparing it against a three decades-plus F1 championship winning concern... So let’s give the “Lotus-by-Judd” Boyz a chance!