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Lotus to increase IndyCar effort with KV Racing UPDATE #3 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today.  Jimmy Vasser said recently that the team will be rebranded as Lotus/KV Racing next year.

11/10/10 KV Racing's Jimmy Vasser told SPEED.com the most positive aspect of the season proved to be the growing relationship between KV and Lotus Cars. Sato undoubtedly struggled to in the No. 5 Lotus-sponsored Dallara-Honda Indy car this year, but the Malaysian-owned car company is apparently ready to commit to the Indianapolis, IN.-based team for the next few years.

“The main thing going with KV Racing right now is we’re finalizing a long-term agreement with Lotus, Vasser told SPEEDTV.com. “We had the one Lotus-branded car this past season with Takuma Sato and we’re in the process of branding the whole team as Lotus/KV. We should have that done in the next few weeks. Then we’re going to go forward from there.”

“Our primary goal is to keep all of the guys intact, to do three cars like we did this year and to have the same drivers back as well. There are also some free agents that are running around right now that are quite interesting, but Takuma can’t wait to get back to all of the tracks and show what he can do with a year of experience. He learned a lot of lessons the hard way, but a lot of guys do. He was getting down on himself, but a lot of those crashes came when he was in fifth or third. We can work with that. The speed is there. The capability is there.

“E.J. and Mario were also really fast and competitive at times this year. Mario is probably the fastest of the three, but he’s like a young race horse. We’re still trying to harness all of his talent to become the top driver we know he can be. I think Viso is similar to Mario that way, too. It might have seemed like everything was negative to the outside world this year, but if we get these guys on the same page, the potential is there. I don’t know if I can keep all of them together next year, but some combination of them along with Tracy will be our racing team.”

“The Lotus component will grow each year—it’s very incentive-based—and it also includes a lot of additional technical support which will help us with a lot of performance-based stuff that will have a big impact next year. But it isn’t a huge dollar deal that would allow us to go out and do whatever we want in 2011—to hire whoever we wanted.."

09/12/10 (GMM)  New F1 team Lotus Racing looks set to revive the historic 'Team Lotus' name for the 2011 season. The Malaysian-owned team currently uses the Lotus name under license by Lotus Cars, the British sports car maker based in Norfolk.

It was rumored earlier on Sunday that the Tony Fernandes-run team is set to lose the license due to the Force India/Aerolab legal action, but also because Lotus Cars wants to prioritize the use of its name for its American motor racing programs.

Therefore, the latest solid rumor is that Fernandes has arranged to use the Team Lotus name next year by buying it from David Hunt, who acquired the rights to the name when the original F1 team folded in 1994.

Fernandes would not confirm the speculation at Monza, but he said on BBC television: "The future of Team Lotus, Lotus Racing, is in our hands."

He also hinted strongly that a deal has been struck to move from Cosworth to Renault power for 2011, and that Heikki Kovalainen has signed a new deal for 2011.

Referring to the Finnish driver, Fernandes said: "I hope we have a long, long career together."

The current KV Racing Lotus driven by Takuma Sato in IndyCar.  Lotus can do a proper IndyCar program for 1/10th the cost of F1
09/12/10 Formula one team Lotus could be set to change its name for the 2011 season.

The Malaysian-owned team currently uses the historic name under license by Lotus Cars, the British sports car maker based in Norfolk.

The rumor about the Tony Fernandes-run team losing the name for formula one was reported by well-known French commentator Jean-Louis Moncet in his Auto Plus column. zzzz

He said there are two reasons for the decision, the first being the damaging reports about Lotus being sued by Force India and an Italian wind tunnel for allegedly stealing intellectual property.

But another reason is that Lotus Cars wants to prioritize the use of its name for its motor racing programs within the United States.  They already have stated they may do a body kit for the new IndyCar so their name goes on the car as a Lotus (for whichever teams buy that kit), but it would not shock us to also see them have Cosworth do an IndyCar engine for them as well, though that is such speculation on our part at this time.

Lotus are also smart enough to realize that they will always be backmarkers in F1, so just as Honda and Toyota realized, it was only ruining their image.

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