Lotus Shakedown & Testing a Success Lotus HVM Racing, the Lotus test team and Swiss driver Simona De Silvestro completed a successful shakedown of the new 2012 Lotus-powered Dallara DW12 on Thursday, before beginning more in-depth testing of the 2.2 liter, twin-turbo V6 engine on Friday at Palm Beach International Raceway in West Palm Beach, FL.
After two full days of testing over the weekend and turning 300+ incident free miles in West Palm Beach, the Lotus team packed up and moved to Sebring for additional testing on Monday and Tuesday. 870 miles were run over the combined sessions.
Driver Simona De Silvestro was extremely happy with her time in the new car. "I think it was really a good four days," she said. "We ran a lot of miles. We did a lot of laps. I've never spent so much time in a race car. We started tweaking on the race car just to see what it liked. It was a really positive test and to be part of the first laps on the Lotus engine... I learned so many things right there. These guys have been really open and showed me everything and we worked really well together which was really cool. I can't wait to get back in the car again."
De Silvestro isn't the only HVM Racing member that was happy with the results of the testing. "We're very satisfied with the way everything went," said team manager Vince Kremer. "I feel like we made good solid strides. Simona put some solid laps in and the engine ran flawlessly. We exceeded what our original parameters were and we're looking forward to the next test in a few days. I can't emphasize enough how well the collaboration with the three teams and the engine supplier went."
Lotus IndyCar Manager Olivier Picquenot was equally pleased with the initial testing. "This was the most successful test I have ever participated in," he said. "We achieved more than I expected. The quality of the engine is perfect. We're very pleased from a technical aspect on behalf of Lotus and Judd. I would like to thank Simona for her fantastic job during the 4 days. She was smiling all the time and was very good at giving feedback to the engineers to progress in our development. Hopefully the rest of the tests will be as successful."
As the first driver of the three team collaborative group (HVM Racing, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and Bryan Herta Autosport) working with Lotus to develop the new engine, Simona will have her next opportunity to drive the car again in February. Lotus test drivers Alex Tagliani and Oriol Servia will share driving responsibilities with Simona in the scheduled tests in February and March. Simona will be present to join her engineers and team members at the upcoming tests in Homestead and again in Sebring.
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