November 19th, 2010
The KV Racing Lotus-branded Indy car on display at the LA Auto Show during the announcement that Lotus will supply engines and aero kits for the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2012. (Ron McQueeney/IndyCar Series photo).
LOS ANGELES — While National Speed Sport News reported Lotus’s entry into the IZOD IndyCar Series as an engine builder Wednesday evening, the official announcement was made yesterday at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard, 1963 Indy 500 winner Parnelli Jones and Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar were among the speakers.
“It’s for us as well a very exciting day,” Bahar said. “I guess it’s a very exciting year with the re-launch of our brand introducing the new product lineup for the next five years. It’s been quite a busy time, and probably we are having busy times ahead of us.”
Lotus will design and build its own engine to compete with Chevrolet and Honda in the IndyCar Series beginning in 2012, and will also sell an aero kit for Indy-car competition.
“We took the decision to build our own engine,” Bahar said. “Not only that, but building obviously our own engine, we are going to be the underdog. We are going to fight Chevy and Honda. But that’s fine, it’s all about competition. Not only that, but by 2012, we will be designing our own chassis and aero kit.
“We want to compete. We would like to design our own cars and hopefully maybe other teams can profit from our design capabilities. That’s why we start already from today investing money and also capacities in developing the right aero kit and engine for 2012.”
There’s no doubting the Lotus name’s heritage in auto racing.
“What we tried to do with the Lotus brand is to pay our heritage and our past justice,” Bahar said. “I believe our heritage is all about motor racing. As you could see, this is all about motor racing. We believe that our road car should have a significant connection with the motorsports, motor racing program. That’s why we have also announced recently we will be going and racing in LeMans, GT2, GT4 car racing, obviously IndyCar, and maybe some more to come.”
“Lotus is a renowned name in racing, with a long association with some of the greatest names of motorsports,” said Randy Bernard, CEO of IndyCar. “We’re honored Lotus has chosen to serve as an engine manufacturer for the first time with us.
“We are excited about the future of Indy car racing with the addition of Chevrolet and Lotus as well as the continued involvement of our longtime engine supplier Honda. The IZOD IndyCar Series has the fastest, most versatile cars and drivers in the world, and now we have engine competition to provide even more excitement for our fans.”
Jones drove a Lotus during its Indy-car heyday in the 1960s.
“It’s really great to see that Lotus is coming back into the sport, into (IndyCar), in Indianapolis because certainly obviously we’ve been absent from that for a long time with having different competitors,” Jones said. “We need something like this to make Indianapolis and (IndyCar) proud.”