Lotus to enter Indy 500 UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact today. Lotus and Cosworth have entered into a new technical and commercial partnership with established IndyCar competitors KV Racing Technology to run in the 2010 IndyCar Series.
The Lotus-Cosworth IndyCar will use the classic Racing Green and Yellow livery used on Lotus Racing cars in the 1950s and 1960s and this new livery will debut at the first USA round of the IndyCar Series.
|The Lotus color scheme for the Indy 500|
Driving the Lotus-Cosworth IndyCars will be the former F1 driver Takuma Sato.
Lotus competed for a number of years in the IndyCar Series in the 1960s, winning the Indianapolis 500 race outright in 1965 with the pioneering Lotus Type 38, driven by Jim Clark, and narrowly missing victory to come second in 1963.
Dany Bahar, CEO of Group Lotus plc said, “Racing has always defined Lotus and on many occasions in motorsports history Lotus’ numerous innovations have re-defined racing. It’s only fitting that as the Lotus Racing name re-enters Formula 1, we will also race and innovate again in IndyCar. The Lotus name will, once again compete in the top two open-wheel racing series for the passion and enthusiasm of car fans around the globe.”
Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser, owners of KV Racing Technology said, “We are delighted to be part of Lotus and Cosworth’s return to the IndyCar Series, and with Takuma at the wheel of the classic racing green and yellow Lotus Cosworth race cars, we expect to be formidable competitors this year.”
Takuma Sato said, “This is fantastic news for everyone. It is exciting for me to be a Lotus driver and I’m really looking forward to great success with this new project.”
The return to the IndyCar Series follows on from the recent announcement by Lotus and Cosworth are to become closely associated through a strategic partnership looking at the opportunity to develop high performance engines for Lotus cars.02/22/10 In what could be a precursor to a 2012 chassis supply deal Lotus is set to enter this years Indy 500 under the ‘Team Lotus USA' banner.
Motorsport Director Claudio Berro told highly regarded British publication Motorsport News "the IndyCar dream is very real for us. We are talking to an existing team about forging an alliance. The American marketplace is very important for Lotus and there is a pedigree and history at the Indy 500. When people think of Lotus they think of competition and racing, it is important that we get back to putting that message across. The IndyCar program is a big project and we need to join with an existing team to begin with, because that is the easiest way in terms of logistics. We only have a few weeks to sort the deal out because the start of the season is very close. The reunification of Champ Car and IndyCar makes it much simpler for us and it is an area we are excited about. To run the Honda engine is not a problem in the first instance, even there we have history. The Indy 500 is iconic and it will only do the Lotus brand good to be there." zzzz
A further announcement will be made next month
If the team does return this year it will almost certainly be with a Dallara chassis and Honda power but in 2012 it is thought that the famed English manufacturer could run a car of its own design. Whether this would be part of the 2012 spec chassis program or not is unclear. Racecar Engineering