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Old 24 Apr 2012, 23:52   #16
mythoughtsareracing
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mythoughtsareracing should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridmythoughtsareracing should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
I have a source in the media who has been in touch with BHA and Lotus.
And this whole situation reeks to high heaven.

Let's start with the Lotus press release, which I've shared in my Google Docs:
https://docs.google.com/open?id=1vFg...I_LEm-gb0Pd4oB

The first thing is the spin that Lotus is putting on this, namely that they dropped BHA & DRR, not the other way around. It is widely speculated that there were at least threats of legal action against Lotus from those two teams citing "breach of contract". Unfortunately, the deal is done and it's unlikely that we'll ever know how BHA and/or DRR feel the contract was breached by Lotus.

My source has been in contact with Olivier Picquenot, Manager of IndyCar racing at Lotus. He states, "The tests organise by Indycar or private test are not mandatory and we want to do it, the addition of two cars end of February change completely our plan of engines pool and make difficult the start of the season for us, our technical partner EDL and the teams."

This also sounds like "spin", although I think it smells more like a cow patty.
The teams were all originally have their engine contracts done late last year, as I recall, yet there were still teams without engine deals going into testing.
The teams that were confirmed with Lotus engines in mid-Feb were:
- HVM (1 car)
- BHA (1 car)
- DRR (1 car)

Shank wasn't confirmed, as they were still trying to put funding together.
So the cars putting the strain on Lotus could only be Dragon. We all know how late Bourdais got his motor. That may be partly due to finding funding for Bourdais' ride, but may also be related to Lotus' financial issues.

So why is it that two more engines for Lotus is a strain while two more at Honda or Chevy is business as usual? The short answer is money.
There is reason to believe that the legal issues that Lotus has been dealing with have resulted in their inability to pay Judd during development of the motor. Judd needed to make a business decision, and they stopped development until they got paid. It doesn't make good business sense to have lots of manpower spending lots of time developing a motor that may or may not wind up in a car on a race track, so Judd stopped working on it. When Lotus paid Judd, development resumed, but they were behind the curve, and that shows in the on-track performance of the Lotus cars.

This has more twists and turns than the first season of 24, I tell ya!


Now, I have also heard that the lack of power for the Lotus motors can be attributed (at least in part) to a temperature safety system that not only limits the power, but will also kill the motor if it reaches a certain temperature. The idea of saving the motors so they will run the distance required by IndyCar's rulebook makes sense, but it cost too much in the way of horsepower. Although I think this was more a matter of making sure the Lotus teams had working motors, as they were (and apparently still are!) in short supply.
Going into SaoPaulo and then Indianapolis, Lotus suddenly has more engines to work with, so they may be able to remove the temp safety system. In theory, this should improve the power of the Lotus cars, but nobody knows by how much.

The other thing is the availability of Lotus motors...
Will there be teams that take a stab at running Indy with a Lotus lump? It would lead to a larger car count, sure. But it also adds the potential for a full-season driver getting bumped from the 500.
I'm sure Lotus would hate for Simona to sit out on Memorial Day, since she is Lotus' flagship driver. Add in the drama of her accident at Indy last year and making the show in PorkChop with burns on her hands, and you've got a hell of a story!
And what of the teams that are sticking with Lotus instead of jumping ship, specifically Dragon? Bourdais has wrung the most out of that motor and had a couple of brilliant drives. I'm sure Lotus wants to see their black/gold livery running 'round The Brickyard. Don't know about Legge, though.

We know Shank wants to field a driver. So does Newman-Haas.

Last edited by mythoughtsareracing; 24 Apr 2012 at 23:57.
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Old 25 Apr 2012, 02:52   #17
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Originally Posted by mythoughtsareracing View Post
I have a source in the media who has been in touch with BHA and Lotus.
And this whole situation reeks to high heaven.

My source has been in contact with Olivier Picquenot, Manager of IndyCar racing at Lotus. He states, "The tests organise by Indycar or private test are not mandatory and we want to do it, the addition of two cars end of February change completely our plan of engines pool and make difficult the start of the season for us, our technical partner EDL and the teams."
Nice job there burning your media buddy source on an open forum.
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Old 26 Apr 2012, 10:51   #18
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Nice job there burning your media buddy source on an open forum.
Not burning anyone. I've got the OK to share the information.

Anyone with media access to teams, manufacturers, and PR outlets related to IndyCar would get the same.
And lets be honest, it's not hard to get media access to these groups.
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Old 26 Apr 2012, 14:13   #19
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Now, I have also heard that the lack of power for the Lotus motors can be attributed (at least in part) to a temperature safety system that not only limits the power, but will also kill the motor if it reaches a certain temperature. The idea of saving the motors so they will run the distance required by IndyCar's rulebook makes sense, but it cost too much in the way of horsepower. Although I think this was more a matter of making sure the Lotus teams had working motors, as they were (and apparently still are!) in short supply.

Going into SaoPaulo and then Indianapolis, Lotus suddenly has more engines to work with, so they may be able to remove the temp safety system. In theory, this should improve the power of the Lotus cars, but nobody knows by how much.
If you were going to cull the herd to better focus your efforts, my personal rankings of teams to keep would be:

Bourdais/Servia/Tagliani

Sorry to Simona and Katherine, but those 3 are better than each of you. In Simona's case she's kinda marketable as a female driver, the fans respect her due to her past efforts and knowing she's in a crap car, and per Cavin Tuesday night, HVM are the one Lotus team 100% fully on board with them. Legge gets added on because she's Bourdais' teammate and Jay Penske would say all or nothing (and Jay Penske may have done the same thing of wanting out, although that means Bourdais loses his sponsorship if they're receiving any money for having Lotus on the sidepod).

The whole thing goes back to how people want technical diversity in grids but fail to realize that if you're a team with a driver and sponsorship, with the level of money we're talking about here, you're not going to handicap yourself with an inferior car and engine intentionally unless you're desperate or have no better offers. It's a bit like the tires in sportscar racing for a number of years. Everyone knew Michelin was far and away superior, and the rest of the grid that had Dunlops or whatever, it wasn't because they were trying to develop an alternative or received any money there, it was because Michelin chose not to supply them. Jay Penske's team could be in that position now with engines.

Shank fielding Howard at Indy seems more likely than ever as Lotus needs the bullets.

The one bit of this that does not make any sense is Newman/Haas, unless Carl is letting all these teams suffer and work out the bugs and then he swoops in to become the "Factory Lotus" team in 2013 or 2014 and profit off all these teams' labor.

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Yannick: However, who would want to buy a road car from them after this debacle?
Buy a Lotus road car? First, I don't know where I could do that if I wanted to. Second, if you're one of the people that does that why would you do it based on an Indycar race?

Last edited by Flyin Ryan; 26 Apr 2012 at 14:19.
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Old 26 Apr 2012, 23:18   #20
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Originally Posted by Flyin Ryan View Post
If you were going to cull the herd to better focus your efforts, my personal rankings of teams to keep would be:

Bourdais/Servia/Tagliani

Sorry to Simona and Katherine, but those 3 are better than each of you. In Simona's case she's kinda marketable as a female driver, the fans respect her due to her past efforts and knowing she's in a crap car, and per Cavin Tuesday night, HVM are the one Lotus team 100% fully on board with them. Legge gets added on because she's Bourdais' teammate and Jay Penske would say all or nothing (and Jay Penske may have done the same thing of wanting out, although that means Bourdais loses his sponsorship if they're receiving any money for having Lotus on the sidepod).

The whole thing goes back to how people want technical diversity in grids but fail to realize that if you're a team with a driver and sponsorship, with the level of money we're talking about here, you're not going to handicap yourself with an inferior car and engine intentionally unless you're desperate or have no better offers. It's a bit like the tires in sportscar racing for a number of years. Everyone knew Michelin was far and away superior, and the rest of the grid that had Dunlops or whatever, it wasn't because they were trying to develop an alternative or received any money there, it was because Michelin chose not to supply them. Jay Penske's team could be in that position now with engines.

Shank fielding Howard at Indy seems more likely than ever as Lotus needs the bullets.

The one bit of this that does not make any sense is Newman/Haas, unless Carl is letting all these teams suffer and work out the bugs and then he swoops in to become the "Factory Lotus" team in 2013 or 2014 and profit off all these teams' labor.
That's the thing...
Lotus didn't make the decision to "cull the herd". The teams made the choice. It's some serious spin on Lotus' part to appear like they've done nothing wrong.

It seems apparent that the teams that are moving away from Lotus also have a bit more in the bank to press the issue. I've heard reports that BHA, at least, is paying off the Lotus lease (all or in part, depending on who you believe) as well as paying full fare on a Honda lease.




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Buy a Lotus road car? First, I don't know where I could do that if I wanted to. Second, if you're one of the people that does that why would you do it based on an Indycar race?
I want to buy a Judd!
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Old 27 Apr 2012, 10:06   #21
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Buy a Lotus road car? First, I don't know where I could do that if I wanted to. Second, if you're one of the people that does that why would you do it based on an Indycar race?
No, I don't want to buy any car at all but Lotus must have at least some kind of a point for engaging themselves in motorsport. That's selling road cars isn't it?
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Old 27 Apr 2012, 16:24   #22
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That's the thing...
Lotus didn't make the decision to "cull the herd". The teams made the choice. It's some serious spin on Lotus' part to appear like they've done nothing wrong.
It can be spin but I think everyone is capable of seeing through it. Lotus would have a bad reputation with fans if they said they were kicking out Bryan Herta (defending Indy 500 champion race team) and Dreyer & Reinbold (along with Foyt, Panther, and Schmidt the last pre-CART crossover teams left in the field) and those teams didn't have an engine to land on. I was just pointing out if it was a Lotus decision, you'd axe Legge and de Silvestro based on performance.

Quote:
It seems apparent that the teams that are moving away from Lotus also have a bit more in the bank to press the issue. I've heard reports that BHA, at least, is paying off the Lotus lease (all or in part, depending on who you believe) as well as paying full fare on a Honda lease.
Unless there's legal issues on the team's part with breaking away from Lotus, why would you subject yourself to paying two engine leases to enter one car?
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Old 7 May 2012, 15:59   #23
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Looks like two more Lotus cars set for the chop:

http://www.indystar.com/article/2012...IndyStar.com|s

If this goes ahead, that'll leave HVM as the only regular Lotus on the grid, with perhaps one more for Jean Alesi at Indy (Fan Force United).

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Old 7 May 2012, 16:06   #24
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According to Cavin's story, Dragon is suing Lotus for breach of Contract

http://www.indystar.com/article/2012...ne-maker-Lotus
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Old 8 May 2012, 06:50   #25
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Looks like two more Lotus cars set for the chop:

http://www.indystar.com/article/20120507/NEWS02/120507030/Dragon-Racing-severing-ties-engine-maker-Lotus?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|IndyStar.com|s

If this goes ahead, that'll leave HVM as the only regular Lotus on the grid, with perhaps one more for Jean Alesi at Indy (Fan Force United).
Well, it seems that it's gonna be a two-engine series now... If Lotus would pull out of IndyCar, then who's gonna replace it?

If they do, I think IndyCar must find an engine supplier for next year... Maybe Volkswagen, Mercedes, or even Fiat will take the third spot.
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Old 8 May 2012, 10:05   #26
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Judd might consider continuing with another business model but I don't see any other manufacturer joining the fray in the near future.
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Old 8 May 2012, 11:43   #27
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It appears as though Lotus is trying to back out of Danny Bahar's sending spree and sticker campagin as most of what Lotus were backing does not appear as if there is any money to back it up.
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Old 14 May 2012, 18:29   #28
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Dragon Racing are suing Lotus.

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/99457
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Old 14 May 2012, 21:17   #29
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"In addition, Dragon claims that Lotus failed to disclose that a corporate reorganisation was underway involving the takeover of its parent company during the winter, which prevented it from meeting the financial obligations of its contract, and accuses the company of "spreading known falsehoods in an attempt to cover for its own shortcomings."

Lotus is yet to make a public response to the lawsuit."

Clearly no one at Dragon did their homework, pathetic and inexcusable in my opinion. The Proton/Lotus issues were widely discussed in Malaysian business news media over the winter. If ordinary old me could find all that, they should have been able to themselves at Dragon. Not to mention everyone with any clue knew years ago this whole Lotus thing was a lot of shiny paint on a styrofoam car.

They can sue, but it's going to be like getting blood from a stone. Good luck.
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Old 14 May 2012, 22:29   #30
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Well, at the time those deals where inked 'Lotus' was Proton, the Malaysian equivalent of Renault, the Malaysians being eager to raise the profile of that company so money was easy, Judd has been popping out little engines for a long time now, a gamble sure but the players didn't seem bad.

With me the alarm bells rang when I spotted the person of Danny Bahar and his destructive behaviour during the Group-Team Lotus fiasco. A state-appointee with a blank cheque on tax-payers money planning a global campaign which quickly turned into a stickering campaign and now has run out of money for even that. The man was a disaster and now that the Malaysians have bailed out, Lotus is flat on its face.
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