Idle for what has been a pretty long time, Lotus is finally waking up from its hiatus from auto racing with 2010 becoming a year where the brand makes a return to its racing roots.
We’ve known for quite some time now that Lotus has returned to Formula One. What we didn’t know was that it’s not the only racing series the brand is going back to.
Lotus officially announced that its returning to the IndyCar series in 2010 with partnerships already lined up with Cosworth and KV Racing. It has already been reported a while back that Lotus and Cosworth have joined forces to begin producing both road and race cars together. And now that KV Racing has jumped on board, all signs are pointing towards Lotus returning to the IndyCar series grid for the first time in forever. Really, it’s been that long.
For those of you – and we know there are a lot out there – that aren’t familiar with Lotus stamping its worth in IndyCar, it’s worth pointing out that the brand has had a decorated history in open-wheel racing, all the way back to the 60’s. As a matter of fact, one of the greatest drivers of that era – Jim Clark – won the 1965 Indy 500 while driving a Lotus Type 38 while also finishing second in the same race two years before in 1963.
As for the reinvented Lotus race car, you can expect to see its debut at St. Petersburg, Florida with former F1 driver Takuma Sato sitting behind the wheel of the car.
Press Release after the jump
Back in Indy!
Lotus and Cosworth have entered into a new technical and commercial partnership with established IndyCar competitors KV Racing Technology to run in the 2010 IndyCar Series.
The Lotus-Cosworth IndyCar will use the classic Racing Green and Yellow livery used on Lotus Racing cars in the 1950s and 1960s and this new livery will debut at the first USA round of the IndyCar Series.
Driving the Lotus-Cosworth IndyCar will be the former F1 driver Takuma Sato.
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 Lotus Type 38, driven by Jim Clark, and narrowly missing victory to come second in 1963.
Dany Bahar, CEO of Group Lotus plc said, "Racing has always defined Lotus and on many occasions in motorsports history Lotus’ numerous innovations have re-defined racing. It’s only fitting that as the Lotus Racing name re-enters Formula 1, 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."
Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser, owners of KV Racing Technology said, "We are delighted to be part of Lotus and Cosworth ’s return to the IndyCar 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."
Takuma Sato 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."
The return to the IndyCar Series follows on from the recent announcement by Lotus and Cosworth are to become closely associated through a strategic partnership looking at the opportunity to develop high performance engines for Lotus cars.
The 2010 IndyCar Series starts with the Sao Paolo Indy 300, Brazil on the 14th of March 2010.