Lotus to dump IndyCar

UPDATE IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said Lotus is still expected back in the series in 2013 despite speculation that it will drop out. “They have not told us they are out," he said prior to Sunday’s race. “They have a contract, so it’s not going to be that easy for them to tell us they’re out."

07/23/12 AR1 rumored this a month ago. SPEED.com now reports that the British marque is planning to depart the series with four years left on its five-year commitment, and once those talks are concluded, Chevy and Honda would be the primary engine suppliers for at least the 2013 season.

Speaking with Olivier Picquenot, Lotus' dedicated program manager, after the Edmonton race, the Frenchman was unable to provide a definitive response regarding the manufacturer's future plans.

"Personally, I don't have the answer," he said. "Lotus for sure will try to stay as long as possible in IndyCar if we keep going…and have some success and we have more teams in the future. We can't run with one car, for sure. I can't really say yes if we continue or no [we do not]."

IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard could not go into specifics on the Lotus situation, but did reiterate that a longterm contract is still in place for the marque to provide engines through 2016. Breaking that contract with the series is expected to carry a significant financial penalty.

"They have a five-year contract with IndyCar," he said. "If that's going to happen, they'll have to negotiate out of their deal and that hasn't happened."

Just the latest in a long series of black eyes for IndyCar.

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