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Reports: Dragon 'suing Lotus for contractual fraud'

Dragon Racing's relationship with engine supplier Lotus is reportedly ending with legal action by the team, citing "contractual fraud" by the manufacturer.
Just when it seemed that the crisis situation surrounding Lotus' involvement in the IZOD IndyCar Series was calming down come reports that Dragon Racing is launching legal action against the engine manufacturer.

According to multiple reports in the media, Jay Penske's team has filed a lawsuit in California where Dragon Racing is headquartered. The case number BC484135 was filed with a the state superior court in Los Angeles, and according to SPEED.com it cites breach of contract and "contractual fraud".

The latest reports say that Dragon Racing has already returned all its Lotus engines and related equipment, and will no longer be using Lotus engines with immediate effect.

First reports of the suit suggest that Dragon is alleging that Lotus failed to deliver either of the two Dallara chassis that it was supposed to purchase for the team, leaving the team itself to pay out the "roughly $400,000" per DW12.

However, despite allegedly admitting that it owed the outstanding chassis purchase money to Dragon, Lotus is said to have threatened to withhold engines from the team if it didn't then pay the engine licensing fees that were due. Dragon also alleges defamation, saying that Lotus went on to make public "knowingly false statements" about Dragon not paying the fees.

The Associated Press quotes the lawsuit as adding: "Put simply, Dragon has had enough of Lotus' deceit and wrongdoing. Dragon has put an end to its ill-fated relationship with Lotus and now seeks recompense for the damages inflicted upon it."

There had been apparent disagreement between Dragon and Lotus ahead of the first race of the season. The engine for Sebastien Bourdais' car arrived only the night before track activity started for the 2012 Honda Grand Prix of St Petersburg, in a seeming disagreement over what contracts had been signed and when. Lotus' inability to manufacturer sufficient engines in time to allow any of its teams to participate in the sole series test at Indianapolis last month is another major factor affecting the company's relationship with all of its IndyCar partners.

Lotus announced at the end of last month that they had agreed to release two of their four full-time teams, Bryan Herta Autosport and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, ahead of the Indianapolis 500. Both teams are yet to formally announce replacement engine deals with either of Lotus' rivals, Honda and Chevrolet, although deals are said to be close with BHA joining Honda and DRR set for Chevy engines. [Update: DRR has now secured a Chevrolet engine for Oriol Servia by partnering with Panther Racing.]

At the time, Lotus said that this would enable them to focus resources on supporting its remaining teams, Dragon and HVM Racing. The IndyCar Series also subsequently enacted a new rule to prevent any further changes in engine supply deals during a season with effect from April 30, except in extra-ordinary circumstances and with the series organisers' right of sign-off.




Related Pictures

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Ryan Hunter-Reay in the 2012 IndyCar Dallara, with Chevrolet power. [Picture copyright: General Motors and Wieck Media Services, Inc]
The Lotus brand and colours on an IndyCar. [Picture credit: IndyCar Media]
Dragon team co-owner Jay Penske [Photo credit: IndyCar Media]
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Hawk Performance Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to an 11th-place finish Sunday, August 2, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Montoya retains the overall driver`s championship points lead with two races left in the season. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to an fourth-place finish Sunday, August 2, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 PPG Finishes Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a third-place finish Sunday, August 2, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 PPG Finishes Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his third-place finish Sunday, August 2, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Graham Rahal leads a group through the Turn 2 Keyhole turn during the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal and his father, Bobby, celebrate in Victory Circle following their win in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Podium celebrations for Graham Rahal and Justin Wilson after the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Podium celebrations for Graham Rahal, Justin Wilson and Simon Pagenaud after the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal sprays the champagne in Victory Lane following his victory in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal wins the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal begins the celebration as he wins the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay waits in his pit stand prior to practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay rolls down pit lane for practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates having the fastest qualifying time Saturday, August 1, 2015, winning the pole for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Dixon set a track record of 1:04.5814/125.869 mph. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates having the fastest qualifying time Saturday, August 1, 2015, winning the pole for Sunday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Dixon set a track record of 1:04.5814/125.869 mph. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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Gazza1JB

May 07, 2012 8:39 PM

Completly stupid that the series freezes engine development when these engines have had NO development, its a farce and ruining what could of been a fantastic season, chevy clearly have a big advantage in power, fuel consumption everything, an lotus engines have had NO development what so ever, how can u expect teams to stay with crap engines when u no they are no allowed to be improved. stupid



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