Lotus LMP1 WEC contender unveiled at Le Mans
|By Gary Watkins||Thursday, June 12th 2014, 11:13 GMT|
The German Lotus team has unveiled the new LMP1 privateer contender that will carry its hopes in the second half of this year's World Endurance Championship.
The wraps came off the Lotus P1/01 LMP1-L coupe, which is powered by a twin-turbo AER V6, at Le Mans on Thursday and the car will begin testing in "the coming days", according to Lotus LMP head of operations Boris Bermes.
"We will use the time between now and Austin [scene of the next round of the WEC in September] for testing," he told AUTOSPORT.
"Our first aim is to make the car reliable and then to make it competitive in LMP1-L, to be competitive against the manufacturers would be another step."
The solo P1/01, which was originally to be known as the T129, will be driven in testing and the five WEC races after Le Mans by a pool of five drivers consisting of Christijan Albers, Christophe Bouchut, James Rossiter, Pierre Kaffer and Thomas Holzer.
The Lotus ended up missing the first three rounds of the WEC, including Le Mans this weekend, after a late change of engine from an Audi-based normally-aspirated V8 to the turbocharged AER powerplant.
The car has passed its mandatory FIA crash tests, according to Bermes, and the final stages of the homologation paperwork are now being undertaken.
Bermes did not rule out a move to one of the four hybrid sub-classes for 2015 and the sale of cars to customers.
Full details of the AER engine have yet to be divulged. The capacity of the all-new direct-injection V6, which has been running on the dyno since the end of 2013, is understood to be between three and four litres.