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Lotus Legion May Not Be At Full Strength At Indy500 – UPDATED

With plenty to risk and little to gain by spending the money to race in Brazil, Bryan Herta and team co-owner Steve Newey will leave the Lotus Barracuda-BHA and Alex Tagliani's pit stall empty in Sao Paulo. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2012)


Lotus Legion May Not Be At Full Strength At Indy500 (UPDATE At End)

There is trouble in the teams that make up the DW12′s outfitted with the Lotus/Judd engine and this real issue may show itself before the crown jewel race of the 2012 season.

Marshall Pruett of SPEED.com published an exclusive report highlighting the pressures of a sport that combines technology, competition, and advertising promotion as a history-making business enterprise.

Basically two of the four teams are so unhappy with the fact that Lotus, while not missing its commitment to field engines for races this season, has been really behind on the fulfillment of its commitment to meet the competitive demands of the series. Lotus Dragon Racing (LDR) did not have an engine to mount into one of their two cars (four-time ChampCar World Series Champion, Sebastien Bourdais) before the St. Petersburg race until the very evening before (Thursday) the first practice on Friday. Despite seeing some promising performance in the first two of three races from the four-time ChampCar World Series Champion, the overall performance and the timing of the delivery of engines does not allow any time for testing and this has effected all of the teams that are in the Lotus Legion – Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA), Lotus Dragon Racing (LDR), HVM Racing, and Lotus Dreyer Reinbold Racing (DRR).

This becomes a little like one of those what came first situations … the chicken or the egg. Worse, is this situation even solvable?

No timely delivery equals no testing / no testing equals no performance results and feedback / no performance eventually leads to no advertisers to sponsor the car.

The main focus is beginning to place pressure on the decisions that need to be made by the series and the business viability of having a Lotus/Judd engine in a car when teams can not be assured of having engines to test and be competitive. Breach of contract filings from the teams in the Lotus Legion are being delivered to the manufacturer – where this goes, no one knows.

The IZOD IndyCar Series key person who will have to make a decision, and soon, on what to do next and avert a true mutiny within the Lotus Legion and a potential disaster is Will Phillips, IndyCar’s VP of Technology.

Katherine Legge of Marina Del Rey, CA based Dragon Racing. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2012)

This excerpted and edited from SPEED.com -

INDYCAR: Tough Decisions Pending By The Series, Lotus, Its Teams

Lotus confirms in a SPEED.com exclusive that two of its teams have asked to switch manufacturers, but is it what the series needs and will it be allowed?
Marshall Pruett | Posted April 18, 2012

IndyCar fans have been treated to arguably the three best opening races in series history, but at the back of the grid, a much more serious—and far less pleasant—concern has finally reached its boiling point.

With three rounds completed, the bulk of the Lotus-powered teams have been mostly invisible in the final results, experiencing one gut-wrenching problem after another.


The conflict between Lotus and its teams reached a fever pitch when the marque informed its entrants that engines would not be made available for the April 4th test at Indianapolis, leaving Bryan Herta Autosport, Dragon Racing, HVM Racing and Lotus DRR in a very awkward position.

With the prospect of showing up to Indy next month with zero miles of testing on the Lotus engine around the 2.5-mile oval (not to mention teams starting IndyCar’s most important event with no laps of testing at the Brickyard on their Dallara DW12s), some of its teams have now filed breach of contract paperwork with the manufacturer.

A dispute between the manufacturer and those teams regarding the exact wording and obligations in their supply contracts has ensued, but the message being sent is clear: showing up late and unprepared for IndyCar’s Super Bowl is a surefire way to perform poorly, to possibly miss making the show and, when all is said and done, to kiss their sponsors goodbye.


Asked what the best-case scenario would be to come out of the breach of contract notices, one owner said receiving permission from the series to switch to a different engine manufacturer was the ultimate goal.

Simona de Silvestro of Britain-based HVM Racing. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2012)


Will Phillips, INDYCAR’s VP of Technology, holds the authority to allow said changes, but declined to comment when asked if he would permit any of the Lotus teams to change manufacturers during the season.


In a follow-up e-mail on Wednesday, Miodrag Kotur, Lotus’ Director of Motorsports Operations, confirmed that “We have also [have two teams], who would like to switch to another engine supplier, but it is still in discussion with us.”


To give some additional context to that scenario, the two Lotus teams would rather spend an additional $1 million to get a Chevy or Honda engine–which will have an increased engine pool size after Indy–and forfeit the money they’ve already paid to Lotus than to stay with their current supplier.


In a half-hour interview just before Sunday’s Long Beach Grand Prix, Kotur fired back at a variety of comments, accusations and questions regarding his employers.

“Since the beginning of the year, there’s a lot of rumors that Lotus is not doing well, that Lotus will not be around, that Lotus will not be at Indy, that Lotus is not able to make the engines…as far as I know we are here…we did not miss any races,” he said. “Obviously, we are a little bit behind from our competitors; we are working very hard with Judd to reach the same level [as] Honda and GM. It is not easy. Those guys are in the business since years at Indy, especially Honda. We are new, and start six months later. I don’t know why and from where these rumors are coming that we are in breach of contract. I would like to know where is the breach of the contract.”

After informing Kotur that the breach of contract issue was no longer a secret, and that missing the Indy test seemed to be the catalyst—the point of no return for some of his teams–he offered a more credible response.

“The teams obviously they complain about this test we haven’t done, but there is some reason–to be able to secure future races, we prefer to keep the engines and to work on them and to continue to develop the engines than to go to this test,” he admitted. “Obviously, it would have been better [to be] there, but this is a decision we have made. And if you go through the contracts, there is nothing saying we have to participate in all the tests. If we had been told to be present at this test by INDYCAR because it was mandatory, we would have been present, but it was not.

“I am in motorsports [for many] years; obviously the more you are testing, the better it is. I don’t want to say we are confident going into Indy without testing on the oval, especially Indianapolis. Maybe if we went there [to the IMS test], maybe we would today have some struggles with the engine. It will be one month for us to have enough engines to be very comfortable, it will be a little bit problematic, but we aren’t in any way in breach of contract.”

Kotur also offered a blunt assessment of the teams Lotus is partnered with, and although it appears he forgot that Bryan Herta Autosport won its first race of 2011 (the Indy 500 with Dan Wheldon) and was running fourth (with Alex Tagliani at Las Vegas) when the second race was cancelled, the Yugoslavian’s sentiment was no less impactful.

Oriol Servia with Dreyer & Deinbold Racing has been one of the most competitive and consistant drivers over the last couple of years. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2012)

“Herta, Dreyer, HVM…they cannot also expect to be at the front of the grid,” he said. “Even last year, they were not at the front of the grid. You find the same people at front, Penske and Ganassi. So we not only have to work on the engine, we have to work on the car. And also to work with [Lotus’ teams] on the car. We ask them, ‘Where can we help you?’ I don’t want to say that in one month things will change completely, but slowly, we have improved. By the end of the year, the gap will be completely closed.”

Being on the receiving end of complaints from his teams and criticism from the media was an obvious source of frustration for Kotur and his colleagues.


With a limited number of engines to offer its teams (eight total powerplants for five cars through Long Beach), engines have been sent back to EDL’s base in England between races for inspection, making it hard for teams to conduct private tests on their own.


Provided it comes to fruition, Kotur expects Lotus’ engine pool to nearly double next month.

“We will for sure have more engines for Indy,” he said. “We will need them. It’s a long race, and we will have [practice] before the race. We will have fresh engines for the race. Our plan is to have more or less five additional engines for the race.”


“I think it will be resolved in a few weeks, but we are committed to motorsport,” Kotur said of the nearly completed sale of Lotus. “We in fact want to invest more in the engine program and that is under discussion in the factory. You have to invest if you want to reach a certain level in motorsport. You have to spend it properly. If you see in Formula One, Toyota was spending the most and they didn’t reach the target. Obviously you need money, but you also need time. You need time, you need people and you need money.”

To Lotus’ credit, it appears to be interested in appeasing the two disgruntled teams, but it may be a case of too little, too late.


With the financial health of the two teams serving as the greatest concern, reducing Lotus’ engine supply burden could actually help the manufacturer to solve its problems and to become more competitive at a faster rate.

Stretched painfully thin at the moment, Lotus comes out ahead with a reduced car count, and if Chevy or Honda is capable of adding an extra lease apiece, the two teams can reassure their sponsors that sticking with them—and the series—is a worthwhile venture.

On the other hand, Lotus, (at least judging by some of Kotur’s statements and his general demeanor in our interview), seems interested in ramping up its efforts, so maybe it would be better for all involved to stick together.

[Reference Here]

Lotus may have bit off more than it can chew in delivering on a plan for competitive success. As little as this Lotus’ Director of Motorsports Operations, Miodrag Kotur thinks of the driving capabilities of Sebastien Bourdais and Oriol Servia … the best solution may be a quick decesion by Will Phillips, INDYCAR’s VP of Technology to have Dragon Racing and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing jump to the other engine manufacturers and let the dust settle before the teams meet to engage the process of being in the field of 33 cars to start the “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing”.

As it stands, (Lotus) Team Barracuda-BHA and Alex Tagliani have decided to skip competing in Round 4/Brazil citing its recent results, and the desire to prepare to defend its win at the Indy 500.

IndyCar's Lotus Legion becomes less by two out of five - gone are Bryan Herta Autosports and Dreyer Reinbold Racing. Side-by-side racing here at Long Beach looking for new engines are Alex Tagliani (L) and Oriol Servia. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2012)


Lotus Raises IndyCar Commitment
Lotus Press Release – 24 April 2012

When Lotus entered the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series, the regulatory requirement to supply multiple teams and the late timing of Lotus’ entry placed a significant restriction on the development programme. It was clear from the start that the 2012 season was going to be a huge challenge as Lotus debuted its IndyCar engine, but it was a challenge that Lotus was determined to meet.

Lotus was further hindered by unanticipated difficulties caused by the widely reported change of ownership and the subsequent restrictions on resources. To have achieved a top ten position under these circumstances is pretty impressive.

That said, Lotus has acknowledged that whilst the engine has demonstrated a lot of promise, minimal testing has resulted in reliability issues.

Having now had the experience and feedback from the first three races of the season, Lotus undertook a strategic review of its position to decide what course of action would be in the best interests of IndyCar and the teams it supports.

Following this review, Lotus is pleased to announce in cooperation with IndyCar that, whilst it remains fully committed to IndyCar in the long term, Lotus has taken the decision to reduce the number of cars it runs from five to three for the remainder of the season. As a consequence of this decision, Lotus has made offers to Bryan Herta Autosport LLC and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing LLC to end the agreements with them. Bryan Herta Autosport LLC will not participate in any further races as a Lotus team and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing LLC will race one more time in Brazil next weekend.

Going forward, Lotus is excited to be working closely with Lotus HVM Racing, the original partner team and Lotus Dragon Racing, who delivered Lotus’ best result so far this season. Lotus wishes Bryan Herta Autosport LLC and Dreyer & Reinbold LLC the very best of luck for the future.

Lotus also intends to continue to assist its engine supplier Engine Developments Limited (EDL) by providing additional resources and financial support to expedite the development program. The details of the arrangement are currently being finalised and the additional support should result in an increased engine performance for the rest of the season.

Claudio Berro, Director of Motorsport Group Lotus, said: “Lotus in IndyCar is like David versus Goliath. We are and always will be a niche British sports car company built for the few not the many. That said I’m delighted with our solution and I can assure everybody that the actions were taken after careful consideration and will assist in ensuring the brand’s high racing ambitions and the high expectations of the IndyCar community are realised.”

Randy Bernard, CEO IndyCar, commented: “IndyCar is committed to ensuring that our teams and manufacturers have a platform to remain competitive. We support Lotus’ decision and will assist Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and Bryan Herta Autosport in securing engine support for the remainder of the season.”


Truthfully … how in the HE-double toothpicks can Lotus say, as they did in the title of their presser, “Lotus Raises IndyCar Commitment” when they greatly reduce the talent (DRR’s Oriol Servia & BHA’s Alex Tagliani) and car count. This action suggests that they are backing away and limiting the chances of sharing testing information with the one very-proven driver they have left – four-time ChampCar World Series Champion (turbo-charged powered engines) Sebastien Bourdais (apologies to Katherine Legge and Simona De Silvestro).

… notes from The EDJE


** Article first published as Lotus Legion May Not Be at Full Strength at Indy500 on Technorati **

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Conducts First In-Season Test

Dale Coyne's Justin Wilson takes first laps at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during Wednesday's test. Here, when one looks at the back wing area of the DW12, one can see the changes to the aerodynamics of the body work - rear-wheel guards that are taller and the wing panel is laid down near flat. Image Credit: IMS

The DW12, by all accounts, is hitting the marks that are placed before it at every point. With two races, one on a temporary street and another on a closed road course with elevation changes through the back country rolling hills East of Birmingham, Alabama, completed with positive and some surprising results along the way … the biggest growing question developing was, OK, what will this platform and formula do on the most famous super speedway oval in the world?

On Wednesday several teams took to the track in Speedway, Indiana and held first in-season track test to shake down set ups of the DW12 in full Speedway trim. This configuration features new rear-wheel guards that are taller, lighter and have a slightly different shape than the sets being used on the road/street circuits as well as what will be used on the oval races at Texas Motor Speedway, Iowa Speedway and The Milwaukee Mile.

Street/Road course configuration shown here as E.J. Viso, Ryan Briscoe, and Rubens Barrichello try to gain advantage on each other through a corner at Barber Motorsports Park during the Honda Indy Grand Prix. Notice the rear wing area and the differences with the lead posting photo. Image Credit: IICS

This excerpted and edited from SPEED -

Andretti Hits 218.6 At Indy Test
By Robin Miller – Posted April 04, 2012

Marco Andretti (Chevy), Scott Dixon (Honda) and Kanaan (Chevy) all topped 218 mph during the roughly six hours of running but that came courtesy of some help in traffic.

“I had a mega tow on that lap,” admitted Andretti, last year’s winner at Iowa who has a second and two thirds in his six starts at Indianapolis. “The best I could by myself was 216 and we’re not setting the world on fire but it’s only the first day.

“As a driver I want to run 240 but the car is fun to drive and it’s the same for everybody.”
“I’m convinced when we come back we’ll be be over 220 for qualifying,” said Will Phillips, the vice president of technology for INDYCAR. “It was a good day for feedback, the engine manufacturers found some issues early on that took a while to get on stop of but they did a good job and everyone was able to run this afternoon.”
Three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves and J.R. Hilebrand topped 216 mph while Justin Wilson ran 213, Mike Conway and Takuma Sato 212 and Ed Carpenter 207 but never got a hot lap due to some technical glitches.
Kanaan and Andretti tried running close to other cars and found it pretty exciting.

“These cars are wider and there’s a lot more turbulence,” said Kanaan. “I’m not concerned about the speeds, I just want to know `Is it going to be a good race?’ That’s the key.”

Ed Carpenter had an undisclosed issue that kept him from posting a fast speed, the four Lotus teams did not participate in the test [more on Lotus below] and rookies Simon Pagenaud and Josef Newgarden were running at Texas on Wednesday.

Rank, #, Chassis/Engine/Tire, Driver, Speed

1 26 Andretti, Marco D/C/F 218.625
2 11 Kanaan, Tony D/C/F 218.439
3 10 Dixon, Scott D/H/F 218.094
4 3 Castroneves, Helio D/C/F 216.942
5 4 Hildebrand, JR D/C/F 216.641
6 18 Wilson, Justin D/H/F 213.753
7 14 Conway, Mike D/H/F 212.767
8 15 Sato, Takuma D/H/F 212.573
9 20 Carpenter, Ed D/C/F 207.518



John Judd Jr. [the engine developer] took exception this paragraph in this week’s commentary on the Barber race.


“Not only is the Lotus/Judd engine strapped for cash and shy on horsepower (by an estimated 50 compared to Honda and Chevrolet), it’s a rarity right now because there are only five of them for their five drivers.”

Judd’s response:

“What you have reported is un-true, we are not strapped for cash. There is no evidence that the Lotus engine is 50 HP down on Honda and Chevy. It would not have been possible for Lotus cars to maintain position or overtake other cars in the races were that to be the case.

“And there are more than five engines in circulation. Spare engines were available throughout the weekend at St. Pete and Barber. I would be grateful if you would retract these false statements.”
[Reference Here]

Of course, all of this still begs the question, How come no teams associated with the “Lotus Legion” (Bryan Herta Autosport | HVM Racing | Dragon Racing | Dreyer & Reinbold Racing) were on the track … any track, for testing in Speedway configuration?

Further, when one looks at the sector lap times analysis from the performance of Dragon Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais during the #gpstpete – Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, one comes away with the distinct impression that on long straightaway top end speed, the DW12 outfitted with a Lotus/Judd engine is down on horsepower.

It is either that, or SeaBass is just deploying a small “drag chute” toward the end of each straight so that he then could step up his performance in the twisty sections where the four-time ChampCar World Series (#ccws) champion just shined.

… notes from The EDJE

** Article first published as Indianapolis Motor Speedway Conducts First In-Season Test on Technorati **

Live Blog – Honda IndyCar Grand Prix Of Alabama

Helio Castroneves just after he captures the pole for the Honda IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama. Image Credir: IZOD IndyCar Series

Firestone Fast Six Qualifications Tweets from The EDJE:

Quals Group 1 Note: 4 of 5 #lotus are in this group include SeaBass and Servia – not the best chance to advance – #indycar #dw12 #higpa

Quals Group 1: Helio, Pagenaud, Rahal, Hildebrand, Conway, Viso – ADVANCE #higpa

RT @stevewittich: Top 9 in group 1 within 0.34 seconds. Awesome sauce! #higpa #IndyCar #dw12

Quals Group 2 – Briscoe, Dixon, RHR, Power, Kanaan, Hinchcliff – ADVANCE #higpa #IndyCar #dw12

Round-2 #indycar Quals Field – Briscoe, Helio, JR Hild, Viso, Dixon, RHR, Power, Kanaan, Conway Hinchtown, Rahal, Simon #higpa #dw12

Unofficial Barber track record is 1:9.4550 seconds – Will Power, March 2009 – Round-1 Power @ 1:09.8529 #indycar #higpa #dw12

Round-2 #indycar Quals Briscoe, Helio, JR Hild, Viso, Dixon, RHR, Power, Kanaan, Conway Hinchtown, Rahal, Simon #higpa #dw12

Firestone Fast Six Round Quals Order/Engine – Helio – 1:10.4768 C, Hinchtown C, Dixon H, Conway H, JR Hild C, Kanaan C – #indycar #higpa #dw12

Will Power leads fellow Aussie and teammate, Ryan Briscoe through the Alabama countryside at Barber Motorsports Park during a set-up practice session for Round #2 in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship 2012 season. Image Credit: IZOD IndyCar Series

Amazingly, due in large part to top drivers not placing their best laps early in the Round 2 session and an off-track excursion by Ryan Hunter-Reay … many recognizable names did not make the best showing … Power was hurt the most because he actually posted a better time than in his previous session – others who just missed the Firestone Fast Six session – EJ Viso, Ryan Briscoe, and Graham Rahal.

Further, row #9 on the grid will be filled with two drivers that have eight American Open Wheel season championships between them – P17 Sebastien Bourdais (4-time CCWS champion) and P18 Dario Franchitti (4-time IRL/IndyCar champion).

Barber Motorsports Park track layout with elevations. Round #2 of the IZOD IndyCar Series for 2012. Image Credit: IZOD IndyCar Series

Race Grid (Lotus Legion in BOLD):

Pos – Driver – Team/Engine – Time – Gap
1. Helio Castroneves Penske DW12-Chevrolet 1m10.4768s
2. James Hinchcliffe Andretti DW12-Chevrolet 1m10.5222s + 0.0454s
3. Scott Dixon Ganassi DW12-Honda 1m10.5291s + 0.0523s
4. Mike Conway Foyt DW12-Honda 1m10.8791s + 0.4023s
5. JR Hildebrand Panther DW12-Chevrolet 1m11.0759s + 0.5991s
6. Tony Kanaan KV DW12-Chevrolet 1m11.3740s + 0.8972s

7. EJ Viso KV DW12-Chevrolet 1m11.5257s Round 2
8. Graham Rahal Ganassi DW12-Honda 1m11.5841s Round 2
9. Will Power Penske DW12-Chevrolet 1m12.0098s Round 2
10. Simon Pagenaud Schmidt DW12-Honda 1m14.2839s Round 2
11. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti DW12-Chevrolet Round 2
12. Ryan Briscoe Penske DW12-Chevrolet Round 2

13. Marco Andretti Andretti DW12-Chevrolet 1m10.6512s Group 1
14. Rubens Barrichello KV DW12-Chevrolet 1m10.5664s Group 2
15. Josef Newgarden Fisher DW12-Honda 1m10.6851s Group 1
16. Takuma Sato Rahal DW12-Honda 1m10.6111s Group 2
17. Sebastien Bourdais Dragon DW12-Lotus 1m10.7255s Group 1
18. Dario Franchitti Ganassi DW12-Honda 1m10.6749s Group 2
19. Justin Wilson Coyne DW12-Honda 1m11.5524s Group 1
20. James Jakes Coyne DW12-Honda 1m10.7526s Group 2
21. Simona de Silvestro HVM DW12-Lotus 1m11.5721s Group 1
22. Charlie Kimball Ganassi DW12-Honda 1m11.3594s Group 2
23. Alex Tagliani BHA DW12-Lotus 1m12.5778s Group 1
24. Ed Carpenter Carpenter DW12-Chevrolet 1m11.8672s Group 2
25. Katherine Legge Dragon DW12-Lotus 1m13.6457s Group 1
26. Oriol Servia Dreyer & Reinbold DW12-Lotus 1m13.3349s Group 2
(ht: autosport.com)

Notes and Tweets in the form of a Live Blog of the Honda IndyCar Grand Prix Of Alabama:

Ross Bynum @therossbynum
I still stand by the fact that the Lotus teams would be at the bottom of the charts even if they had a Honda or Chevy. #IndyCar #HIGPA

Brian Groce @naptownbuzz
What I took away from last week’s #IndyCar race: The Lotus engines are crap. Am I wrong?

If one were just looking at top line speed, well, yes! But if one were to look at the sectional performance charts of one of the best open-wheel drivers to have been in the sport, no … it shows that there is something to work with – not total crap.

Oriol Servia ? @OriolServia
So this morning we had an electrical problem after first run & engine broke after 2 laps in afternoon… We Need Laps!! ?

Last Tweet and link to Lotus engine trouble speculation.

Johnny Montona @andhesonit
Who will drive at the @IMS test. RT @AutoweekRacing Lotus struggling to get engines ready for #Indy500: bit.ly/H7vOdh #IndyCar

The fact remains that on reliability and top end speed through the power curve, the Lotus/Judd engine is very behind the performances of the other two engine manufacturers – Chevrolet and Honda.

Andretti Autosport's Chevrolet-powered DW12 of Ryan Hunter-Reay paces in the wet during practice at  #higpa. Image Credit: IZOD IndyCar Series

These thoughts excerpted and edited from SPEED -

Bourdais’ Street Fighter Sector Times
Marshall Pruett for SPEED | Posted March 30, 2012

Amidst the concrete and fencing, Sebastien Bourdais put on a show at St. Pete in the sections of the track where top speed wasn’t a factor.
The 33-year-old Frenchman shocked his rivals by running as high as third during last Sunday’s 100-lap season opener, which would seem like enough of an accomplishment on its own, but the circumstances surrounding Seb’s competitive performance—and his outright speed—deserve a deeper look.

“If you told me then on Thursday we would have the race like we did, I think you’d have been a bit crazy,” he said.
The No. 7 would get all the way to third as more cars pitted while Bourdais waited to make his final stop on Lap 70, returning to the track in 14th.

The clock was ticking on Seb’s race as communications issues between his drive-by-wire throttle system and the McLaren ECU went dead on Lap 73 while he sat in 10th. Game over.

If the shock sight of a Lotus-powered car mixing it up in the top 3 wasn’t enough, the data generated from INDYCAR’s data loops throughout the 1.8-mile, 14-turn circuit told an even more impressive tale.
To start, Bourdais set the eighth-fastest lap of the race, directly ahead of a certain H. Castroneves who won the event. The next-fastest Lotus lap was turned by Oriol Servia, the 16th-best of the race.
Bourdais’ drive off the final corner must have been hellacious, and his ability to go deeper into the braking zone was also noticeable as the other Lotus runners ranked 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th on the same sector.

Whatever he lacked on top-end power and speed changed from the braking zone into Turn 1 through the apex of Turn 2 where Bourdais was fastest of all. With the battle already conceded on the straights, Seb, with the help of his ace engineer Neil Fife, set about winning as many individual wars in the corners as possible.
From the middle of the T3/T4 straight through Turns 5, 6, 7 and halfway through Turn 8, Bourdais was only beaten by Power. The Aussie completed the long sector in 13.10 seconds, just ahead of Seb’s 13.18-second blast through the right, left, right, right section.

With handling and torque more valuable than raw horsepower in this portion of the track, it’s clear that Bourdais’ hustle was complemented by more than decent low-end power from his Lotus engine. The initial grunt offered by the Lotus—and good handling from their own respective cars—stacked Tagliani right behind in fifth and Servia in sixth on the same loop.
He [Bourdais] jumps back to lead the Lotus brigade [Lotus Legion] from the middle of that straight just past Turn 12, setting the 12th-fastest sector time. From the end of the Turn 12 loop though Turn 13 and then Turn 14—leading onto the front straight to where pit entry begins—Bourdais is the 10th-fastest car with a time of 8.99 seconds, but Servia pips him with a 8.95-second run, good enough for sixth in that sector.

Add it all up and a portrait of what the combination of a proper driving, a proper setup and proper low-end torque can achieve on a street course becomes clear.

The sweeping turns at Barber Motorsports Park won’t provide Bourdais the same kind of opportunity to make up for speed deficiencies this weekend, but once the series returns to street courses like Long Beach, Toronto and Baltimore, look for Seb to continue lighting up the sector times.
[Reference Here]

Lady in the lake sculpture at Barber Motorsports Park, Alabama. Image Credit: JohnTheRaceFan

Begin Live Blog:

Christopher DeHarde @CDeHarde
Here’s my view for the @IndyCar race today! #HIGPA pic.twitter.com/G932Y30B

U S Race Report @usracereport
Other notables starting today include P14 @rubarrichello, P18 @dariofranchitti, and P19 @justin_wilson. #IndyCar #HIGPA @BarberMotorPark

Will Publish another article in place of this attempt at a Live Blog. Find article HERE>>

Problems in publishing with deleted Live Blog entries … can not recover! … Sorry.

VIDEO: 2012 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama Highlights

… notes from The EDJE

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