Lotus Submits Mid-Season Performance Upgrade Request

Monday, June 18th, marked the first and only opportunity for IndyCar's three engine manufacturers to lobby the series for performance upgrades during the season, and although you won’t see any major signs of improvement this weekend at Iowa, when the IZOD IndyCar Series returns next month on July 8th at Toronto you may.

By then, the Lotus-powered HVM Racing entry driven by Simona de Silvestro could pose a more consistent threat to the middle of the grid thanks to Rule 4.7 in the engine regulations.

Rule 4.7 defines the parameters necessary to qualify for the one-time helping hand from the series while the championship is under way, and also outlines what will happen if too much help is given, stating: "At June 18th and again at the end of the year manufacturers whose engines are statistically more that 2.5% deficient in power may, at the sole discretion and evaluation of INDYCAR, make improvements to be homologated immediately.

"These will be introduced only on new engines being sent to the track. These improvements are allowed to make up 2% of this shortcoming. Should this be exceeded INDYCAR may elect to reduce performance standards to remain within the 2% window by means of boost or RPM control. In assessing this, only measurements accumulated statistically during testing, practice and race conditions will be used."

Speaking with SPEED.com, Trevor Knowles, INDYCAR’s engine tech chief, and John Judd Jr., whose family-run Engine Developments Limited company builds Lotus’ 2.2-liter twin-turbo V6 engine, explained the mid-season upgrade from their respective positions.

“First, a manufacturer needs to ask for the upgrade," said Knowles. “Then they’ll come along with data—simulations of what they have in mind or to support what they’re asking for to back up their case. We’ll look at that, any data we have like torque sensor data, and they also present what their plans are for the upgrade, what they want to change, when the parts will be ready to go on the track and what gains they expect to get from them.

“Then we look it over, look at the feasibility and whether we agree with their numbers or not, and how much we think they are down [on power]. Then we’ll either let them do everything they want, none of what they want, or some of it." More at speed.com

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