More engine woes for IndyCar (Dragon sues Lotus)

UPDATE #3 was able to obtain the full lawsuit Dragon filed against Lotus. The PDF can be read here.

05/07/12 A reader asks, Dear, Why has it gone so wrong for Lotus in IndyCar? Now teams are suing them to get our of their contract. It has turned into a fiasco. Another black eye for IndyCar. Peter Labinski

Dear Peter, Cosworth gave Lotus the price to do a proper race engine to compete at this level, but were turned down by Lotus who chose to go with John Judd, who really is an endurance racing specialty shop. History shows that Cosworth was correct and now it's a case for Lotus of "you got what you paid for." After they do enough damage to the reputation of the Lotus name with that decision, they likely will pull out of IndyCar racing. Let's hope another manufacturer, like a Ford, hires Cosworth to do the engines for IndyCar. The only issue will be whether Cosworth can do the rebuilds out of their Torrance, CA facility. All their top racing people have been let go and that facility now services their aftermarket car parts business. Even in their heyday in CART/Champ Car, the Cosworth engines were always designed in England but serviced out of Torrance. Mark C.

05/07/12 This rumor that started last Friday is today upgraded to 'fact.' The non-stop drama and intrigue surrounding the IZOD IndyCar Series took an interesting turn as has learned Dragon Racing owner Jay Penske has filed a lawsuit against his engine supplier in California, accusing Lotus Cars Limited T/A Lotus Motorsport of "contractual fraud."

Lotus has gone through a rather tumultuous introduction to the series this year, with its late decision to build engines for the new 2.2-liter turbocharged formula triggering a wave of reliability and performance issues it has yet to overcome.

The manufacturer agreed to part ways with two of its teams late last month, severing ties with the Bryan Herta- and Steve Newey-owned Team Barracuda BHA outfit and the Dennis Reinbold- and Robbie Buhl-owned Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team.

Although Penske and Lotus were unavailable for comment, the lawsuit, case number BC484135, and filed on behalf of Dragon Racing, LLC, should serve as the final straw for both parties.

Multiple drivers have said "Can you imagine if Bourdais had a Chevy or Honda engine this season?" Now they'll get to see what the four-time Champ Car champ can do with a competitive motor. It's believed that Dragon has returned its Lotus engines and associated equipment, and is close to inking a new engine supply deal.

With the start of practice for the Indy 500 set to begin on Saturday, Dragon Racing will most likely compete at Indy–and for the rest of the season–utilizing Chevrolet power.

05/05/12 Rumor has it that there will be a lawsuit filed soon with regard to the Lotus engine situation for a breach of contract. No word yet on who is suing whom.

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