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Lotus to be third IndyCar engine supplier (With Cosworth)UPDATE #4 AR1.com hears that the deal is close to being done to make it official that Cosworth will indeed do the Lotus IndyCar engine.
11/21/10 This SpeedTV.com video interview with Lotus Danny Bahar confirms our rumor below - Cosworth will almost certainly do the Lotus IndyCar engine. He says that Lotus is already partnered with Cosworth to develop racing and passenger car engines.
11/19/10 Lotus just beat the Nov. 16 cutoff to get on board for the 2012 season. Bernard admitted the engine package was a surprise development. "We never felt it was going to be an engine up until a couple weeks ago," he said. "They didn't feel they were going to be able to get it."
Cosworth has yet to be announced as the engine builder as we previously rumored, but we suspect it's because all the contracts are not in place yet between Lotus and Cosworth. It is anticipated that the Lotus engine will also be a direct injection twin-turbo V6. A 4 cylinder is at a distinct disadvantage and will require favorable rules to match a V6. IndyCar has not worked on the 4 cylinder engine rules, and won't until a manufacturer says that is what they want to build. All focus has been on the V6.
"Last March, one thing we learned really quick was that the fans wanted to see the 'spec' series go away," said Brian Bernhard, referring to the time when he took the reins of the series from its former boss Tony George. "That was the number one thing they said.
"Lotus is a renowned name in racing, with a long association with some of the greatest names of motorsports," he added in a statement. "We're honored Lotus has chosen to serve as an engine manufacturer for the first time with us.
"We are excited about the future of Indy Car racing with the addition of Chevrolet and Lotus as well as the continued involvement of our longtime engine supplier Honda. The IZOD IndyCar Series has the fastest, most versatile cars and drivers in the world, and now we have engine competition to provide even more excitement for our fans."
11/17/10 This rumor is upgraded to fact as IndyCar has called a press conference for 5 PM ET Thursday to announce a third engine manufacturer for 2012. An agreement between Lotus and IndyCar was signed Tuesday night, barely making the November 16 deadline the series had set for engine manufacturers to announce their intentions to participate in 2012.
Meanwhile the fight over the use of the Lotus name in Formula One next year has heightened with the news that Proton Holdings Bhd will buy a 25% stake in the Renault F1 team and change the name of the team to Lotus Renault.
Lotus Racing, which is led by Air Asia boss Tony Fernandes, intends to change the name of his team to Team Lotus next season after buying the rights from David Hunt (brother of the late F1 driver James Hunt. James died at just 45 - he drank and smoked 40 cancer sticks a day) a few months ago. The fight is almost certain to end up in London courts later this year.
2012 Engine Manufacturer
Honda Performance Development (HPD)
Chevy Said probably
11/17/10 Lotus will be next for the Izod IndyCar Series’ 2012 engine lineup according to rumors out of Indy.
Confirmation is expected Thursday with an unveiling at the Los Angeles Auto Show. A news conference is set for 5 p.m. Eastern.
We hear Cosworth will likely do the engine for Lotus as they have the experience. Recall Lotus sponsored a car with KV Racing this year and Kevin Kalkhoven owns both KV Racing and Cosworth (along with Gerald Forsythe). If true, you can bet KV Racing will be the first to sign up to run the Lotus engine.
Lotus joins Honda and Chevy as IndyCar engine suppliers starting in 2012.
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