IBJNews

Lotus may leave IndyCar one year into five-year deal

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Group Lotus Plc is considering leaving the IndyCar Series as an engine supplier at the end of this season—its first as a part of a five-year deal it signed last year to supply turbo engines to IndyCar teams.

Lotus' IndyCar project manager, Olivier Picquenot, said, “we are still committed to the end of the season,” but admitted the company’s plans after this year are unclear.

“Our owners will study every department at the end of the year,” Picquenot said Thursday. “It’s very difficult to say if they will be committed for the next four years.”

The IndyCar season only has four races remaining, concluding Sept. 15 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.

Lotus and IndyCar officials had no comment on how the contract might be settled if the engine maker decides to bolt the series.

The agreement was much celebrated by IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard last year when Lotus, along with Chevrolet, joined the series to compete with Honda as the open-wheel series unveiled its new turbo engine formula. This season marks the first in seven years that the open-wheel series has had more than one engine supplier.

Bernard initially announced that Lotus, Honda and Chevy would each supply engines for one-third of the field. He backed off that statement early this year when it became clear Lotus’ engine-development program was significantly behind Honda's and Chevy's.

The John Judd-built Lotus engine was a late arrival to the IndyCar field last winter and faced further obstacles when the Malaysian-owned, British-based sports car manufacturer was sold, which resulted in a freeze on its accounts and strained relations with Lotus’ partner teams in IndyCar.

In April, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and Bryan Herta Autosport broke off relationships with Lotus to pursue faster, more competitive engines and because Lotus was having difficulty meeting supply demands.

By the time May rolled around, HVM Racing’s entry, piloted by Simona de Silvestro, was Lotus’ sole IndyCar entry apart from Jean Alesi’s Indianapolis 500-only run. Both Lotus-powered cars were quickly black-flagged on race day at Indianapolis because they were dramatically slower than the other cars. De Silvestro has regularly been at the back of the field in subsequent races despite a series-approved upgrade to the Lotus V6 earlier this month.

If Lotus, which is owned by DRB-Hicom, does decide to end its program, it would have to negotiate an exit from its contract with IndyCar. Series officials said they have not had conversations with Lotus about the company’s future.

Lotus’ decision on whether or not to stay in the series beyond this season could be based on how much improvement it is able to make before the end of the season and how much ground it can make up on Honda and Chevy, Picquenot said.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Turd Class
    That is exactly how Derrick Daly would say it. Heads should roll for this....bring me ***** ********* head on a platter! Rumor has it KIA is interested...

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. The $104K to CRC would go toward debts service on $486M of existing debt they already have from other things outside this project. Keystone buys the bonds for 3.8M from CRC, and CRC in turn pays for the parking and site work, and some time later CRC buys them back (with interest) from the projected annual property tax revenue from the entire TIF district (est. $415K / yr. from just this property, plus more from all the other property in the TIF district), which in theory would be about a 10-year term, give-or-take. CRC is basically betting on the future, that property values will increase, driving up the tax revenue to the limit of the annual increase cap on commercial property (I think that's 3%). It should be noted that Keystone can't print money (unlike the Federal Treasury) so commercial property tax can only come from consumers, in this case the apartment renters and consumers of the goods and services offered by the ground floor retailers, and employees in the form of lower non-mandatory compensation items, such as bonuses, benefits, 401K match, etc.

  2. $3B would hurt Lilly's bottom line if there were no insurance or Indemnity Agreement, but there is no way that large an award will be upheld on appeal. What's surprising is that the trial judge refused to reduce it. She must have thought there was evidence of a flagrant, unconscionable coverup and wanted to send a message.

  3. As a self-employed individual, I always saw outrageous price increases every year in a health insurance plan with preexisting condition costs -- something most employed groups never had to worry about. With spouse, I saw ALL Indiana "free market answer" plans' premiums raise 25%-45% each year.

  4. It's not who you chose to build it's how they build it. Architects and engineers decide how and what to use to build. builders just do the work. Architects & engineers still think the tarp over the escalators out at airport will hold for third time when it snows, ice storms.

  5. http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/duke-energy-customers-angry-about-money-for-nothing

ADVERTISEMENT