Dragon Racing Set To Abandon Lotus For Indy500 - Developing On Twitter
The concept of a group of truly competitive cars in a third engine offering (dubbed here as the "Lotus Legion") seems to be disappearing ... and fast. It was only a month ago when it appeared that Lotus/Judd could not supply enough engines for the Month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) and the run-up to the INDY500.
Bryan Herta Autosport and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing decided to stablize their sponsorship and racing efforts for the season by jumping to the other engine manufacturers - BHA with Chevy and DRR with a joint agreement with Panther Racing and Honda.
Over the last couple of days during practice at IMS, Dragon Racing, with their drivers ... four-time CCWS champion Sebastien Bourdais and Katherine Legge, began to seek an alternative to being saddled with the lack of power, lack of engines, and the potential of shaky sponsorship wrapped up with the choice of the Lotus/Judd engine effort.
IndyCar Garage @IndyCarGarage
Per Cavin, Dragon has a 2nd Chevy engine ... would appear that Legge and Bourdais (assuming everything goes well) should be in the race
Lotus probably began to see the writing on the wall early on because they brought their driving/brand embassador, noted Formula 1 driver Jean Alesi, over from Europe to add an additional car to the frey along with primary Lotus partner, HVM Racing.
Colin Z. @WxTurtle
So assuming Alesi/Simona end up finding 211-212, we'll have same speed diff from 1-33 as '06. Not good, but not a 30 mph gap. #indycar
Additional Tweet thoughts on the plight of the Lotus/Judd effort for the INDY500:
Andy Miller @TheSpeedgeek
@PopOffValve If Lotuses are that slow in Race, they'll get black flagged before they get lapped a 2nd time. Done and done. No issue.
Paul Hensby @Paul11F1
@tonydizinno Its sad that Simona is stuck with Lotus. She (& Alesi) are far better than their times suggest. HVM should ditch Lotus #Indycar
True Car Dragon Racing driver, Katherine Legge, fields questions as to the future of Chevy-power being in the DW12's of Dragon Racing. Image Credit: IMS Radio via Twitter
This excerpted and edited from from INDYSTAR.com -
Indy 500: Dragon Racing finally hits the track at IMS
Written by Curt Cavin 9:12 AM CT, May. 17, 2012
Dragon Racing has finally made its season debut at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The No. 6 car driven by Sebastien Bourdais turned its first lap shortly after 8 a.m. this morning. Bourdais turned 21 laps in the first hour, a fastest lap of 205.116 mph.
The team has been mired in a legal dispute with Lotus, but it is transitioning to Chevrolet, the engine that powered today's laps.
Dragon also plans to field Katherine Legge in her Rookie Orientation Program effort. Bourdais drove her car.
As of 9 a.m., IndyCar had not released a statement saying Dragon had been permitted to switch engine manufacturers.
Permission is required by series rules.
Bourdais is taking a refresher course since he hasn't competed at IMS since the 2005 Indianapolis 500. That was his only 500. Legge is a true rookie at IMS, and her only oval-track race came in the 2006 Champ Car World Series season. She finished sixth at the race in Milwaukee.
Oriol Servia sits in his Panther Dreyer & Reinblod Honda-powered DW12 waiting for his turn to get out on the 2.5 mile rectangle shaped oval of the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Lotus/Judd engine relationship is a long way back in the rear-view mirror. Image Credit: Panther DRR via Twitter
This just in:
Dustin Long @dustinlong
#IndyCar approves engine change for Dragon Racing. Sebastian Bourdais & Katherine Legge will switch from Lotus to Chevrolet power.
Maybe the 2012 effort by Lotus and its original four-team partnership known here (at "... notes from The EDJE"/"Motorsports Unplugged") as the "Lotus Legion" needs to be changed to "Lotus Lesion"!
... notes from The EDJE
** Article first published as Dragon Racing Set To Abandon Lotus For Indy500 - Developing On Twitter on Technorati **