Tell this rumor (more than a rumor?) turns out to be true: Lotus might just be coming back to Indy car racing. Yes, that Lotus. The same car company that was derided by the likes of A.J. Foyt until Jimmy Clark beat him like a dumb Texas mule. Yes, the same car company that makes such tasty offerings as the Elise and that truly sublime Evora hybrid from Geneva.
For those of you in the know, Indy Car Racing will be using all new, and newly designed chassis from the 2012 season onward. Lotus, along with a bunch of other racing companies, are readying proposals for what that new chassis should be, but Lotus seems to be taking it a step further.
SpeedTV (which you should all be watching, by the by) said “In what could be a precursor to a 2012 chassis supply deal, Lotus announced its intention to enter the 2010 Indy 500 under the ‘Team Lotus USA’ banner.”
“The Indycar dream is very real for us. We are talking to an existing team about forging an alliance. The American marketplace is very important for Lotus and there is a pedigree and history at the Indy 500. When people think of Lotus they think of competition and racing, it is important that we get back to putting that message across. The Indycar program is a big project and we need to join with an existing team to begin with, because that is the easiest way in terms of logistics. We only have a few weeks to sort the deal out because the start of the season is very close. The reunification of Champ Car and Indycar makes it much simpler for us and it is an area we are excited about. To run the Honda engine is not a problem in the first instance, even there we have history. The Indy 500 is iconic and it will only do the Lotus brand good to be there,” Lotus Motorsport Director Claudio Berro told highly regarded British publication Motorsport News.
Louts expects to make a further announcement regarding their Indy 500 plans sometime this month. And all that makes sense. That would be good timing, what with the racing season getting ramped up, and The 500 starting to glow over the horizon.
Things could be looking up in a lot of ways for American open-wheel racing.
Photo from Flickr user The Pug Father