Lotus splits with Bryan Herta Autosport and Dreyer & Reinbold IndyCar teams
|By Mark Glendenning
||Tuesday, April 24th 2012, 14:56 GMT
Lotus has split with two of its IndyCar teams, reducing the number of full-time Lotus-powered cars from five to three for the remainder of the season.
Bryan Herta Autosport and Dreyer & Reinbold have both parted with the manufacturer following a difficult start to the season, with the lateness of Lotus's deal to join the series and consequent lack of testing having resulted in an engine that has proven to be both unreliable and underdeveloped.
Bryan Herta Autosport had already announced its intention to miss this weekend's race in Sao Paolo and will not use the Lotus engines from this point on, while Dreyer & Reinbold will run the unit in Oriol Servia's car for the final time in Brazil. Both teams are expected to have new engine deals in place in time for the Indianapolis 500.
Lotus Group motorsport director Claudio Berro said that the reduced commitment would allow the manufacturer to focus on bridging the gap to rivals Chevrolet and Honda.
"Lotus in IndyCar is like David versus Goliath," he said. "We are and always will be a niche British sportscar company built for the few, not the many.
"That said, I'm delighted with our solution and I can assure everybody that the actions were taken after careful consideration and will assist in ensuring the brand's high racing ambitions and the high expectations of the IndyCar community are realised."
As part of the overhaul, Lotus has also committed to provide additional resources and funding to Engine Developments Limited, which designs and builds the engines on its behalf.
The cancellation of the two contracts leaves HVM and Dragon Racing as the only Lotus-powered teams in the series.