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Dragon set to contract to one-car line-up

Dragon Racing is likely to field only one car for the foreseeable future shared between Sebastien Bourdais and Katherine Legge, because of an ongoing shortage of engine deals.
Midweek reports say that Dragon Racing will be fielding only one car in the IZOD IndyCar Series for the next few races, and possibly for the remainder of the 2012 season.

A lack of available Chevrolet engine deals is the cause, reports SPEED.com.

Although Dragon secured two last-minute Chevrolet engines for the Indianapolis 500 and was able to put both its cars out on the starting grid on Sunday, Chevy is unwilling to supply more than half the grid going forward and therefore currently has only one engine deal to offer to Jay Penske's team for the rest of the regular season.

Penske is reported to have decided to split the engine lease between his two currently full-time drivers, allowing Sebastien Bourdais to continue racing the #7 car in street and road courses, while Katherine Legge will drive the #6 car for the oval events.

That's not dissimilar to the arrangement that Bourdais had last year with Dale Coyne Racing, where he signed up for a street/road course deal only and the team then put Alex Lloyd in the car for the oval events. Bourdais was in any case due to miss the Milwaukee race in June in order to compete in the Le Mans 24 Hour endurance event.

While Bourdais has been delivering the better race performances out on track so far this season, Legge is bringing in the lion's share of the team's money through her financial backers, automotive dealership TrueCar, and it's not clear whether that sponsorship will now be spread between the #6 and #7 or will be lessened in order to reflect Legge's reduced race opportunities. Bourdais' race backing comes from Internet security company McAfee.

So far this season, Legge's best finish has been in 19th place at Long Beach, while Bourdais finished in ninth place at Alabama. Both results came while the team was still running Lotus engines. In their sole Chevy outing of the season so far at Indianapolis, Legge qualified in 30th position just 48 hours after receiving her new engine and completing her rookie orientation process, and went on to finish in 22nd place; Bourdais qualified in 25th place and finished just ahead in 20th. Both drivers were still running at the end of the race, albeit a lap off the lead.

Neither driver is in any serious contention in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship - Bourdais is currently 21st, Legge is 24th - so missing out on races will not make much material difference to their season.

Bourdais is likely to race at Detroit Belle Isle this weekend, and then take the rest of June off for Le Mans before returning to IndyCar for the Canadian rounds in Toronto and Edmonton in July, followed by Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Qingdao in China and Somona Raceway in August. The Frenchman's final race of 2012 would then be the Grand Prix of Baltimore at the start of September.

Legge will take the majority of races in June, with back-to-back events at Texas, Milwaukee and Iowa. She would then return for the final IndyCar race of 2012 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on September 15.




Related Pictures

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Dragon team co-owner Jay Penske [Photo credit: IndyCar Media]
Sebastien Bourdais (c) 2012, Michael L. Levitt. LAT Photo (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Sebastien Bourdais (#7) on track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during practice for the 2012 IndyCar Indy 500. 12-27 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012, F. Peirce Williams LAT Photo USA (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Katherine Legge (c) 2012, Michael L. Levitt. LAT Photo (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Katherine Legge`s (#6) first lap around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in an Indy Car during practice for the 2012 IndyCar Indy 500. 12-27 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012, F. Peirce Williams LAT Photo USA (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Sebastien Bourdais with his son after winning Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
The red flag is waived halting attempts to start Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto on Saturday. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway and Team Owner Ed Carpenter celebrate victory in Race 2 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais gets a congratulatory hug from team co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven after winning Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Chevrolet sweeps the podium with winner Mike Conway (center), driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrating his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. Tony Kanaan (left), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet celebrates his second-place finish. Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet celebrates his third-place finish. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag while racing to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway on his way to victory in the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway jumps for joy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway with the winner`s flag after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway receives the winner`s trophy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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Buck - Unregistered

June 02, 2012 3:31 PM

Another Mickey Mouse move. No engines..what a joke. I feel sorry for Legge. She brings all the sponsor money then gets dumped. Hooray she gets to run some ovals in June.. then the last race of the season. Tony George and family should be ashamed of how they ruined racing in North America. Not going to watch this "who cares" racing anymore! .

MartinJSUK

May 31, 2012 4:14 PM

Lotus theoretically agreed to supply 10 cars, who knew they wouldn't be able to manage 2? Bit unfair to blame IndyCar for the situation, both Chevy and Honda have already gone beyond what was asked of them.



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