Lotus Motorsport Hits Major Milestones

Whilst most sensible people prepare to wind down for the festive period, the hard working Lotus Motorsport team are busy celebrating the fruits of their labour over the past 12 months following the first successful engine fire up in the Lotus IndyCar chassis AND the first proper Exige R-GT rally car shakedown all within the space of 24 hours.

The first official Lotus IndyCar engine fire up in new car took place on 22nd December at Dallara’s headquarters in Varano Melegari, Palma under the watchful eye of Group Lotus Director of Motorsport Claudio Berro and technicians from the team. Pleased with the overall results, the team have now prepared the engine and car for shipment to the US where full testing will begin in January.

Heading north to Turin, the Exige R-GT, the Rally version of the new Exige S, took centre stage with a quick track shakedown for the first time in full Rally specification. The car handled exactly as expected and the team were delighted with the results. Testing will continue in the new year ahead of the start of the 2012 FIA World Rally Championship season where the Exige will contend the FIA GT category on asphalt at events in Monte Carlo, Tour de Corse and San Remo.

Claudio Berro said: “The fire up in the car went really well, there were no nasty surprises and I think our partners are going to be very happy with the results. It was only October last year that we announced that we would become an IndyCar engine supplier and just 12 months on, we had an all new Lotus engine and three teams signed up – Bryan Herta Autosport, Dreyer and Reinbold Racing, and HVM Racing. We’ve still got a lot of work to do ahead of the start of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar season but so far I’m very encouraged by what I see.

“And as for the Rally car, when you consider that we’ve only began working on this car in July, I think what we’ve achieved in that time has been incredible. For me the Exige S makes the perfect GT rally car, it has an awesome 3.5-litre, supercharged engine, and we’ve managed to balance the weight perfectly to meet the minimum weight regulations. The shakedown today (23rd December) has only made us even more excited to show off the car in true race form early next year – I think we’re doing the Lotus motorsport pedigree proud.”

[press release from Lotus]

Lotus announces IndyCar Partner Teams

Lotus utilized the Los Angeles Auto Show today as a platform to announce three partner teams that will race the new Lotus IndyCar V-6 engine in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series. Alongside this Lotus showcased developmental updates on future products and introduced the new Evora with Intelligent Precision Shift (IPS) transmission to the Western US.

Just as developmental work is progressing at full speed on the first of Lotus’ future cars, the all-new Lotus Esprit and its clean-sheet high performance V-8 engine, Lotus Motorsport is rapidly readying its new twin turbo V-6 IndyCar engine for the rigors of racing.

Izod Indycar Series/Lotus KV Racing

Group Lotus Director of Motorsport Operations, Miodrag Kotur said: “At the LA show last year, we announced that we will be an engine supplier to IndyCar and exactly 12 months on, we are here with an all new Lotus engine and three teams, ready to go. The numbers that the engine is already achieving in our dyno testing are extremely encouraging so our hard work is well and truly paying off.”

“These partnerships with Bryan Herta Autosport, Dreyer and Reinbold Racing, and HVM Racing mean a great deal to Lotus Motorsport and mark the start of a new chapter for Lotus in the IZOD IndyCar Series. We’re thrilled that these already successful and illustrious teams have chosen Lotus, as we believe that our capabilities as a partner will pay dividends for them in the future. These three teams have immediately become part of the Lotus legend and have joined us in our journey as one of the most innovative and successful sports and racing car brands in the world.”

From L to R – Robbie Buhl & Dennis Reinbold from Dreyer & Reinbold Racing; Keith Wiggins CEO of HVM Racing; Bryan Herta from Bryan Herta Autosport.

Each of these racing organizations, as Lotus partner teams, will benefit from the extensive testing and development work of the others to more quickly achieve the mutually desired competitive results.

Keith Wiggins from HVM speaks to the press

In addition to the new Lotus V6 twin turbo IndyCar engine, work is continuing on the new Lotus Motorsport facility in Indianapolis, which will give the company its base close to the action and its partner teams.

As the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season draws nearer, further announcements will be made by the teams at their individual launch events in due course.

Lotus Indy Engine on Dyno

LOG 31 updates

Martin Donnelly as Guest Speaker
Former Lotus F1 driver Martin Donnelly will be joining LOG 31 as the guest speaker for the Saturday Banquet. Martin, is an Ambassador for Lotus Cars alongside Jean Alesi and Nigel Mansell. He is also Chief Instructor at the Lotus Driving Academy. After competing in Formula 3 and Formula 3000 he won 3 races and was a championship contender. During 1988, as well as fulfilling his racing commitments, Donnelly was the test driver for Lotus Formula One team. But it was during 1989 that Donnelly got his first race start when he substituted for Arrows driver Derek Warwick at the 1989 French Grand Prix. In 1990 he continued in F1 with Lotus as a race driver alongside new team mate Derek Warwick. Donnelly has since managed a Formula Vauxhall team. On July 2, 2011 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Donnelly drove a Lotus 102 similar to that which nearly took his life. The Lamborghini-powered car was the same specification as the car he drove in 1990, the original car having been completely destroyed in the crash. Having worked as sporting director and driver development manager at Comtec Racing, Donnelly has recently formed the Donnelly track academy specialising in Lotus trackday events and racing services in Norfolk.

Private Viewing of the Senna documentary

Special LOG Package to the Indycar Season finale on Sunday
LOG 31 and Lotus Ltd have created a special package for the folks interested in attending the Indycar season finale on Sunday. The package includes Designated Infield Parking, Paddock & Neon Garage Passes and Reserved Terrace Seating. All for a Reduced Rate of $134 per Car + Driver (Your Passengers Pay Only $84 Each)

You must purchase your tickets by calling:
Jessica Canning
800-644-4444 x.7098

When calling, provide your full name and Lotus, Ltd. as your group affiliation. Only 100 tickets are available. All orders must be placed by October 1st to allow for processing. Tickets will be available for pickup in the LOG registration room at the Red Rock. Tickets will NOT be available for purchase during registration!

Room reservation deadline
In order to receive the LOG 31 discounted room rate at the Red Rock Hotel and Casino, you must reserve your room by September 14th. Book Online or Call 702.797.7777 using promo code “LOTUSLTDLOG”

Current List of LOG 31 Events

Evening Reception by Lotus Cars USA
Indoor Karting Championship
Round Table Discussions

Concours & Car Show
Scenic Drives
4 Tech Sessions
Saturday Night Banquet
(With Guest Speaker Martin Donnelly)
BRM Watch Auction
Senna Movie Private Viewing

High Performance Driver Education at Spring Mountain
IZOD Indycar Race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Scenic Drives
Sunday Buffet
(Guest Speaker Todd McCandless of Formula1blog.com)
KV Racing Technology Guest Appearance

Click here to visit the official LOG 31 website.

Lotus officially back to the IndyCar Racing series

Following its partnership with Cosworth and last months rumours about the Indy 500, Lotus today confirmed that it will be back in the 2010 IndyCar season with former F1 driver Takuma Sato. Full press release below:

Lotus-Cosworh IndyCar Series 2010 Rendering
Lotus-Cosworh IndyCar Series 2010 Rendering

Lotus and Cosworth have entered into a new technical and commercial partnership with established IndyCar competitors KV Racing Technology to run in the 2010 IndyCar Series.

The Lotus-Cosworth IndyCar will use the classic Racing Green and Yellow livery used on Lotus Racing cars in the 1950s and 1960s and this new livery will debut at the first USA round of the IndyCar Series.

Driving the Lotus-Cosworth IndyCar will be the former F1 driver Takuma Sato.

Lotus competed for a number of years in the IndyCar Series in the 1960s, winning the Indianapolis 500 race outright in 1965 with the pioneering Lotus Type 38, driven by Jim Clark, and narrowly missing victory to come second in 1963.

Jim Clark Type 38 at Indy 1965. Photo credit IMS Photo
Jim Clark Type 38 at Indy 1965. Photo credit IMS Photo

Dany Bahar, CEO of Group Lotus plc said, “Racing has always defined Lotus and on many occasions in motorsports history Lotus’ numerous innovations have re-defined racing. It’s only fitting that as the Lotus Racing name re-enters Formula 1, we will also race and innovate again in IndyCar. The Lotus name will, once again compete in the top two open-wheel racing series for the passion and enthusiasm of car fans around the globe.”

Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser, owners of KV Racing Technology said, “We are delighted to be part of Lotus and Cosworth’s return to the IndyCar Series, and with Takuma at the wheel of the classic racing green and yellow Lotus Cosworth race car, we expect to be formidable competitors this year.”

Takuma Sato said, “This is fantastic news for everyone. It is exiting for me to be a Lotus driver and I’m really looking forward to great success with this new project.”

The return to the IndyCar Series follows on from the recent announcement by Lotus and Cosworth are to become closely associated through a strategic partnership looking at the opportunity to develop high performance engines for Lotus cars.

The 2010 IndyCar Series starts with the Sao Paolo Indy 300, Brazil on the 14th of March 2010.

1965 Lotus Indy 500 Team. Photo credit IMS Photo
1965 Lotus Indy 500 Team. Photo credit IMS Photo

Team Lotus to enter Indy 500?

Racecar Engineering is reporting that Lotus will be entering the 2010 Indianapolis 500 under the ‘Team Lotus USA’ banner.


Motorsport Director Claudio Berro told highly regarded British publication Motorsport News “the Indycar dream is very real for us. We are talking to an existing team about forging an alliance. The American marketplace is very important for Lotus and there is a pedigree and history at the Indy 500. When people think of Lotus they think of competition and racing, it is important that we get back to putting that message across. The Indycar programme is a big project and we need to join with an existing team to begin with, because that is the easiest way in terms of logistics. We only have a few weeks to sort the deal out because the start of the season is very close. The reunification of Champ Car and Indycar makes it much simpler for us and it is an area we are excited about. To run the Honda engine is not a problem in the first instance, even there we have history. The Indy 500 is iconic and it will only do the Lotus brand good to be there.”

Lotus has a proud tradition at the Indy 500 including a 1965 win for the Lotus 38 which was first mid-engined car to win the race. Further announcements about their current Indycar plans are expected next month.

[via Racecar Engineering]