IndyCar »

Lotus gets go-ahead for engine upgrades

The IndyCar Series has approved Lotus' request to make improvements to their engine, to make up for the unit's power deficiency compared with rivals Honda and Chevrolet.
The IZOD IndyCar Series announced on Thursday that it had given the go-ahead to Lotus to introduce a series of upgrades to its engine design in order to allow it to catch up with rival manufacturers Honda and Chevrolet.

"Now that the IndyCar Series has giving us permission to improve the engine performance, things will be moving soon," said Olivier Picquenot, Lotus' IndyCar program manager. "The purpose is to get some outside help to assist in the new development plan for the Lotus engine. Everyone has been working well together and looking to make some quick progress in a concrete way."

The approval came under an existing provision in the series rulebook which allows the engine suppliers to petition for the chance to change their engine specification even though the units are meant to be frozen through to the end of the 2016 season.

Rule 4.7 states: "At June 18 and again at the end of the year manufacturers whose engines are statistically more than 2.5 per cent deficient in power may, at the sole discretion and evaluation of IndyCar, make improvements to be homologated immediately."

Lotus duly lodged the paperwork on the stated date, supplying data from testing, practice and race sessions proving that the engine was more than 2.5 per cent down on power. There was little problem demonstrating this, with Lotus' cars painfully down on speed on the ovals and even getting parked ten laps into the Indianapolis 500 for being unable to run within 105 per cent of the leaders' times.

Two IndyCar teams - Bryan Herta Autosport and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing - started the year with Lotus engines but negotiated their way out of their contracts when the power shortfall became apparent. A third team, Dragon Racing, split in more acrimonious circumstances in the weeks building up to the Indy 500 in May, after filing a lawsuit against Lotus.

The June 18 homologation waiver application laid out the requested series of changes to be phased in, which will start with a test on July 2 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with the HVM Racing car of Simona de Silvestro, the only driver now using Lotus power full time in the series. The rules are clear that the proposed solution cannot simply be through allowing more turbocharge boost or turning up the RPM, but has to come from design-led improvements to the engine itself.

“The intention of the rules is that you can't just go and request more boost or revs," agreed John Judd Jr. of the family-run UK-based Engine Developments Limited company that is contracted to design and build the Lotus engines. "You give them a shopping list of items you'd like to change, but wouldn't be allowed to under the existing homologation regulations."

Judd pointed out that changes to the camshaft profile were just one thing not allowed under the formal rules that they wanted to be able to introduce under this mid-year dispensation.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
The Lotus brand and colours on an IndyCar. [Picture credit: IndyCar Media]
Simona de Silvestro in the #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy Lotus HVM Racing car  during pre-season testing at Sebring. March 2012. [Photo Credit: Michael Levitt - LAT for IndyCar Media]
The Lotus insignia. [Picture credit: IndyCar Media]
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Degree Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, raced to a sixth-place finish Saturday, June 27, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Sage Karam, driver of the #8 Comfort Revolution/Big Machine Records Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, races to a fifth-place finish Saturday, June 27, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Perry Nelson/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, races to a fourth-place finish Saturday, June 27, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Perry Nelson/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 races to a second-place finish Saturday, June 27, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Perry Nelson/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Penske Truck Rental Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates capturing the pole position during qualifying Friday, June 26, 2015, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Penske Truck Rental Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates capturing the pole position during qualifying Friday, June 26, 2015, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 Penske Truck Rental Team Penske Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, qualifies fastest Friday, June 26, 2015, capturing the pole position for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Luca Filippi, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, races to a second-place finish Sunday, June 14, 2015 during the Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Fillip`s teammate, Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6, won the race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory Sunday, June 14, 2015 after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Newgarden`s teammate, Luca Filippi, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6, finished second. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, takes the chequered flag Sunday, June 14, 2015 to win the Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Newgarden`s teammate, Luca Filippi, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6, finished second. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Josef Newgarden, driver of the #67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6 IndyCar, races to victory Sunday, June 14, 2015 winning the Verizon IndyCar Series race through the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Newgarden`s teammate, Luca Filippi (rear), driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet V-6, finished second. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Luca Filippi and Josef Newgarden celebrate with the CFH Racing team after finishing 1-2 in the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Josef Newgarden`s car and gloves on Victory Circle after winning the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Josef Newgarden celebrates in Victory Circle after winning the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Luca Filippi and Josef Newgarden celebrate in Victory Circle after finishing 1-2 in the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Ricky - Unregistered

June 29, 2012 1:22 PM

I hope this allows Lotus to get competitive. I'd love to see a three way fight for the balance of the season, and Lotus add more teams next year.

John - Unregistered

July 01, 2012 1:18 AM

Ozfan try reading things twice and have your dig at the original poster. Your digs at other posters are strange at best and smack of obnoxiousness. I hope Nissan and by Nissan I mean Nissan come back and kick ass. As for Indy I think I will stick to formula one



© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.