Lotus dangerously slow, could cause accident
Dragon Racing's engine is finally ready to fire at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Actually, a Chevrolet was wheeled into the team's Gasoline Alley garage Wednesday afternoon and the car was ready to go, but team owner Jay Penske put the brakes on it. Seems all the legal work wasn't complete. It apparently is now.
Barring a late snag, Dragon will have Katherine Legge on the track at 8 a.m. today for a 90-minute rookie program. It's also possible that teammate Sebastien Bourdais, who needs to take an IMS refresher course, will go first to get the car set up, since it hasn't been on an oval.
As for Lotus, a senior Izod IndyCar Series official confirmed that the manufacturer was allowed to increase its boost to qualifying-weekend standards in order to get Jean Alesi through the mandatory rookie program on Monday. The next day, IndyCar allowed Simona De Silvestro's engine to run with the extra horsepower to help her regain her confidence.
|Built by endurance (slow racing) specialists Judd, did Lotus think it was going to make fans associate the Lotus name with anything other than a slug when competing against a Honda or a Chevy? The engine would probably make a good 24 Hours of LeMans powerplant.|
Both drivers made a significant jump in speed. De Silvestro went 8 mph faster. Both cars lost 5 mph after the boost was lowered.
Trevor Knowles, IndyCar's director of engine development, said he doesn't think the higher levels should be allowed for the race.
"Because the other guys put in the work," he said of Chevrolet and Honda. "We shouldn't allow them to turn up the wick."
Here's a reason to consider doing so: Alesi is worried.
"Right now, I feel very unsafe, being quite slow in the middle of the track," he said in a statement released by Lotus. "So I am quite concerned for my fellow drivers, if we are not able to get the speed that we need.
"I am flat out and I have reached 205 as the maximum that I can see. So it is not a comfortable position right now." Indy Star