Alex Tagliani believes that his planned test at Texas Motor Speedway tomorrow will be critical in helping Lotus to bridge the gap to IndyCar Series rivals Honda and Chevrolet as it scrambles to recover from the late arrival of its engine.
The Bryan Herta Autosport driver is scheduled to run alongside Penske's Ryan Briscoe and KV Racing's Tony Kanaan at the 1.5-mile oval, and while the main purpose of the outing is to evaluate aero and mechanical updates to the DW12, the Canadian said that it was also an important day for Lotus.
"I would say [Texas is] quite important because it's a logical step to continue the development of the car and to make sure we give all the information to IndyCar for improving the racing and making sure we're where we need to be when we get to that sort of track," Tagliani told the official IndyCar website.
"For Lotus it's important too because we have not had the same amount of time in the car with the engine to play around as the others.
"Going to an oval is good for Lotus for the development and to see where they want to be. It seems as if there's a new development every week, but when you're not in the car every week it's 'OK, how many more developments have we had since we tested in Homestead?'"
Lotus's development effort is spread across the three single-car teams run by Herta, Dreyer & Reinbold, and HVM Racing. Tagliani's last test was on the road course at Homestead in January.