All involved in the Lotus IndyCar project have a mountain to climb
taking on Chevrolet and Honda – but all of them think they can.
markets. That being the case, you’d
think the American Le Mans Series,
where it could take on those brands head
to head, might be more logical than the
IZOD IndyCar Series.
“Well, GT is a link with the product,
but IndyCar is a link with the image and
history of Lotus,” explains Claudio Berro,
That was the last time the Lotus name
was seen in IndyCar until 2010 when
Lotus Cars signed up to sponsor the KV
Racing team. But for a brand built on
engineering and innovation, being a mere
sponsor with its name plastered over an
ancient Dallara with an aging Honda
engine came across as a little hokey.
Enough of the history lesson. The 2012
technical regulations that end IndyCar’s
spec-car era is a chance to show what
Lotus is all about with new V6 2.2-liter
turbo engines for this year, and bodykits
over the Dallara chassis in 2013.
Lotus wants to promote not only its
current road cars – the Elise, Exige and
Evora – but also its forthcoming models
which are intended to push the brand
Lotus is a worldwide icon and, outside of its native England, nowhere more than here in the USA. Cooper was the
first racecar manufacturer to turn Indy
cars around and stick the engine in the
rear, but it was Lotus that proved to the
Indy car establishment that sending the
engine backward was the way forward.
Jimmy Clark finished second in the 1963
Indy 500, but a week later scored the first
rear-engined Indy car victory at Milwaukee.
Two years later, A.J. Foyt, Clark and Dan
Gurney gave Lotus a lockout of the front
row at Indy and the modest Scot led 190
of the 200 laps on his way to victory.
In 1968, the Lotus 56 turbine car was
the fastest machine in the field, and
polesitter Joe Leonard seemed destined to
win for Lotus founder Colin Chapman
and STP’s Andy Granatelli until the CLAUDIO BERRO, LOTUS
“I know my budget…
GM and Honda are big
companies, but I think
we have what we need”
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