Last week, it was confirmed that two of Lotus’ current teams in the IZOD IndyCar Series had asked to go with another engine manufacturer. Now we know who those teams are.
Dreyer and Reinbold Racing, with driver Oriol Servia, and Bryan Herta Autosport, with driver Alex Tagliani, are expected to officially split with the British manufacturer tomorrow according to a report from SPEEDTV.com. Lotus has been behind on development of its engines from the beginning and their teams’ efforts so far this season have been hampered by a variety of powerplant-related problems.
With the departure of DRR and BHA (who is not racing this weekend at Sao Paulo), only two Lotus teams are set to remain — the single-car effort of HVM Racing (Simona de Silvestro) and the two-car program at Dragon Racing (Sebastien Bourdais and rookie Katherine Legge). A fourth Lotus entry is expected to come at Indianapolis from Newman/Haas Racing.
The best finish out of all Lotus-powered drivers so far this season has been a ninth-place run from Bourdais earlier this month at Barber Motorsports Park.
As I mentioned last week, having less engines to work on may prove to be a blessing for Lotus for the time being as it tries to make their teams more competitive. Meanwhile, DRR and BHA will have to find a way to strike a deal with either Chevrolet or Honda (DRR will stick with Lotus at Sao Paulo according to the SPEEDTV.com report) for the Indy 500 and beyond.
That said, this outcome is likely the best for all involved at this point. Lotus can focus on getting their stuff together for the second half of the season, while DRR and BHA can feel more confident in having a better pace overall.
UPDATE: It’s official.