Lotus/Judd cars so slow drivers need extra boost just to pass rookie test

Here’s one way to make a Lotus-powered car go faster at Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Turn up the engine’s boost level.

The Star confirmed today that Lotus drivers Jean Alesi, a rookie, and Simona De Silvestro made significant jumps in speed over the past two days thanks to increased boost levels allowed by IndyCar.

The boost level was based on what all teams will receive Friday in preparation for weekend qualifying. IndyCar has projected its worth at 4-5 mph.

Alesi was given the extra power Monday in order to pass the final phase of his series-mandated Rookie Orientation Program. That phase calls for 15 consecutive laps in excess of 210 mph, which Alesi wasn’t able to achieve without the boost increase.

De Silvestro was stuck at 202.179 mph until IndyCar approved use of more boost for two hours of Tuesday’s practice. That allowed the HVM Racing driver turn a lap of 210.315 mph.

Trevor Knowles, IndyCar’s director of engine development, said boost levels in both engines were lowered after the runs, and he doesn’t think the higher levels should be allowed for the race.

“Because the other guys put in the work," Knowles said of Chevrolet and Honda. “We shouldn’t allow them to turn up the wick." Indy Star

[Editor's Note: We wonder how Lotus feels now about going with low-bidder Judd vs. Cosworth to do their engines.]

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