IndyCar » Sarah Fisher left stranded by lack of engine

A lack of engines means Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing looks set to join MSR Indy and Conquest Racing on the sidelines for the start of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season.

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Maxx - Unregistered

February 21, 2012 5:23 PM

It's time for Indy Car to let the teams with extra engines (Rahal, Shank)know they have a certain time frame to utilize the engine, or give it up to Sarah Fisher Racing. They should have planned for Lotus to not hold up their end of the deal all along. Every Indy Car fan saw they wouldn't come thru 100%.

Steve - Unregistered

February 21, 2012 5:36 PM

Lotus did not agree to supply up to 10 engines for the start of the season, if everything that has been made public regarding the terms of the contract between the OEMs & IndyCar is correct. The only terms that anyone has confirmed publicly are that each OEM agreed to supply at least 20% of the field, and no more than 40%. Back in September 2011, both HPD and Chevy reps said that the 10 lease "limit" was based on an **estimated** 25 car field, and the HPD rep went so far to say it was a "self-imposed" cap. Lotus' contractual "end of the deal" per the contract is only to supply 6 leases, and then only if the full-time field were to be 30 cars.

michaelMS-25 - Unregistered

February 21, 2012 7:10 PM

Wait - you're saying that IndyCar set up a deal where the engine makers could stop taking orders after 20% each? They knowingly set up a possible situation where only 60% of the cars (15 in a 25-car field) actually have engines? IndyCar might be numbskulls at times but I think even THEY would see the flaw in that!

Surely the idea is they all committed to supplying up to 40% (10 cars) if approached. The minimum 20% (5 cars) is to do with stopping teams from flocking to one engine. It's an assurance for the engine maker that it's worth the investment. Lotus dropped the ball as they can't supply anything like 40% - they only hit 20% as their failure caps the field!

Steve - Unregistered

February 21, 2012 8:47 PM

@michaelMS-25 Yes, it does seeem odd, but if you read what HPD and Chevy had to say, there's no other reasonable conclusion. Both of them independently assumed 25 cars as the likely field size, assumed that if they hit their max of 40%, that meant 10 leases (or in the case of Chevy, "nine or 10".) Neither of them put the onus on IndyCar for the number of 25 total full-time entries, as both state that is their assumption, and it could be wrong. But at that time, Lotus wasn't even returning calls or emails from interested teams, much less sitting down to discuss deals by the time Honda and Chevy had assumed their own shares were committed. And Lotus wouldn't be interviewed to find out their side of the story then, either! You can find the article pretty easily via Google.

DGAS - Unregistered

February 21, 2012 9:36 PM

The big problem with the Lotus engine programme is, its not even designed or built by Lotus. Judd Power Engine Developments are the brains behind the project and not only do they do the Indy engine they also build and supply powerplants for the majority of the private LMP1 and LMP2 teams at the LeMans 24 hours. Although very successful and they know a thing of two about racing, they only have a staff of 25 souls! Taking on the Indy gig was crazy.

RJM - Unregistered

February 23, 2012 8:55 PM

DGAS, surely a big chance for them to expand and boost profits though? If they get a good customer base in Indy then it could surely fuel further development?

Similar to the way certain constructors are booming in Moto 2

DGAS - Unregistered

February 24, 2012 5:56 PM

RJM, yeah you would like to think they would if they could but they cant. Chevrolet & Honda are building engines at a loss this year so I cant imagine Judd's budget been anywhere like theirs. And even the difference in resource's would be massive. Even if they had a 100% reliable, rocket of an engine I dont think they could physically build enough engines to supply more than a hand full of teams this year. I just think they're entering a year too early. Hope im wrong tho!!

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