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HVM signs with Lotus for 2012 engines
17 November 2011
Lotus have signed an engine supply deal with HVM Racing for the new season in 2012, when the series switches to a new engine specification.
"Once it was apparent that Lotus would produce an engine, it was a clear decision for us to run with them," said Keith Wiggins, the team owner of HVM Racing.
HVM is the first established, existing IndyCar team to sign up with Lotus. Michael Shank Racing announced in October that it would be entering the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2012 and said in passing at the time that it would be running with Lotus engines, although no further details were made available.
"I have great respect, confidence and enthusiasm in the product they will produce," said Wiggins. "Being the first team to commit reflects this and being an integral part of the Lotus development process is important to the re-establishment of HVM as a leading team, this time in the IZOD IndyCar Series."
The team is also taking on the Lotus name, and will be called Lotus HVM Racing in 2012. Simona de Silvestro is expected to continue driving for the team, which will also continue its existing partnership with Entergy Nuclear and the Nuclear Clean Air Energy campaign.
"We are delighted to be partnering with such a well-established and ambitious team as HVM," said Miodrag Kotur, Group Lotus Director of Motorsports Operations. "We're pleased that HVM has shown such faith in Lotus at the start of a new chapter of our commitment to the IZOD IndyCar Series."
After six years of Honda exclusivity in engine supply, 2012 will see Lotus join Honda and Chevrolet competing for victory lane. Honda's stable of teams is led by the four-car Ganassi Racing team including current champion Dario Franchitti, while Chevrolet's return to IndyCar is being spearheaded by Roger Penske's three-car line-up consisting of Will Power, Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves.
Lotus was the last engine supplier to announce its intention to enter IndyCar with the new engine specification, and has been slow to sign up deals with teams since then - leading some teams to look elsewhere as they feared that Lotus might not be able to deliver in time.
"We have been working tirelessly on our engine program since we announced our intention to produce a new engine in line with the new rules and direction of the series," explained Kotur. "We believe that our efforts will pay dividends as the numbers that are coming from our dyno testing are extremely encouraging.
"We have also managed to produce a very light power-plant, in the true spirit of Lotus. However, we are keen to test the package on-track and look forward to our first test in early January, slightly later than originally planned but designed to give us more time to fine-tune our package before taking to the track."
Further rumours suggest that Lotus may also be about to announce an engine supply deal with Bryan Herta Autosport in the coming weeks.
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