Lotus set for return to IndyCar
Michael BaileyOn a weekend when Lotus made a warm return to Formula One, the famous livery will soon be back on the IndyCar stage.Group Lotus and Cosworth confirmed at the end of last week that a new technical and commercial partnership with IndyCar competitors KV Racing Technology would see the classic racing green and yellow debut at the first USA round of this year's IndyCar Series.Michael Bailey
On a weekend when Lotus made a warm return to Formula One, the famous livery will soon be back on the IndyCar stage.
Group Lotus and Cosworth confirmed at the end of last week that a new technical and commercial partnership with IndyCar competitors KV Racing Technology would see the classic racing green and yellow debut at the first USA round of this year's IndyCar Series.
The Lotus Cosworth IndyCar will be driven by former Formula One driver Takuma Sato and follows the recent announcement Cosworth are to become closely associated with Lotus as they bid to develop high performance engines for the Norfolk marque's cars.
Dany Bahar, Group Lotus chief executive, said: 'Racing has always defined Lotus and on many occasions in motorsports history Lotus' numerous innovations have re-defined racing.
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'It's only fitting that as the Lotus Racing name re-enters Formula One, we will also race and innovate again in IndyCar. The Lotus name will, once again, compete in the top two open wheel racing series for the passion and enthusiasm of car fans around the globe.'
Lotus competed for a number of years in the IndyCar Series in the 1960s, winning the Indianapolis 500 race outright in 1965 with the pioneering Type 38 driven by Jim Clark, having narrowly miss out on victory in 1963.
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Sato, who made his IndyCar debut in Sao Paulo, Brazil, at the weekend, said: 'This is fantastic news for everyone. It is exiting for me to be a Lotus driver and I'm really looking forward to great success with this new project.'
Lotus' return across the Atlantic is almost certainly aimed at boost their profile Stateside, and should give a boost to the Norfolk manufacturer's sales of their factory cars through being involved in IndyCar. And, like their Formula One return, being back in IndyCar will evoke memories of several past glories.
Owners of Indy Car runners KV Racing Technology, Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser, added: 'We are delighted to be part of Lotus and Cosworth's return to the Indy Car Series, and with Takuma at the wheel of the classic racing green and yellow Lotus Cosworth race car, we expect to be formidable competitors this year.'
Lotus F1 Racing, which is using the famous name for their Malaysian-backed Formula One outfit, outperformed the other new teams with both cars - driven by Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli - finishing the season opening Grand Prix in Bahrain on Sunday.
When they take to the second F1 grand prix of the season, in Melbourne on March 28, Lotus will be set for its IndyCar debut at the Grand Prix of St Petersburg, Florida, on the same weekend.