With drivers the caliber of Alex Tagliani, Sebastian Bourdais, and Oriol Servia and backed by one of the series most popular drivers in Simona De Dilvestro and newcomer Katherine Legge, there is no shortage of talent in their garages. However, there is a shortage of horsepower and reliability. This has led some of the Lotus teams to file breach of contract paperwork against the manufacturer.
The decision falls on Will Phillips, IICS VP of Technology, as to whether these breach’s have occurred, and what the repercussions will be.
Does filing this paperwork open the door for teams to switch engines? This too is a call for Phillips, who has no comment at this time. However, Lotus’ Director of Motorsports Operations, Miodrag Kotur, did tell Marshall Pruett (@marshallpruett) “We have also [have two teams], who would like to switch to another engine supplier, but it is still in discussion with us.” *
Two teams that want out of their contract so much so that they are willing to forfeit any monies already paid to Lotus, and pay upwards of a MILLION dollars to lease other engines from other manufacturers.
At question with these teams appears to not be the quality so much, as it is more of an issue of supply. Teams were recently notified by Lotus that they would not have engines for the speedway test which occurred on April 4th at IMS, leaving NONE of the Lotus factory teams to have tested there. Bourdais, Servia, De Silvestro, and Tagliani have all driven on the famed speedway, but Legge has yet to turn laps at speed.
Only time can tell the outcome of these circumstances. I hope for the sake of the IICS and it’s fan base, that Lotus gets on the same playing field as Honda and Chevy, or bows out gracefully and allows another manufacturer to do what they apparently cannot.
* link to Speed TV article by Marshall Pruett: http://bit.ly/HRwilo