Lotus Likely To Leave Izod IndyCar Series After '12 With Four Years Remaining On Contract
Engine manufacturer Lotus "is planning to depart" the Izod IndyCar Series "with four years left on its five-year commitment, and once those talks are concluded, Chevy and Honda would be the primary engine suppliers for at least the 2013 season," according to Marshall Pruett of SPEEDTV.com. Breaking the contract, which runs through '16, is "expected to carry a significant financial penalty." The timeline for Lotus' official withdraw "is expected to come after its IndyCar affairs are fully resolved." Pruett wrote, "For many, news of the beleaguered manufacturer looking for the exit door won't come as a surprise." Among IndyCar's three engine manufacturers, Lotus "was the last to join the series and has suffered what can only be described as a woefully unsuccessful foray into the American open-wheel scene since its on-track debut in January." After "losing Team Barracuda-BHA to Honda and both Dragon Racing and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing to Chevy, Lotus' presence in the series has been reduced since May to a single-car effort from HVM Racing for the talented Swiss driver Simona de Silvestro" (SPEEDTV.com, 7/22).