Lotus Motorsport achieved a couple of major milestones recently, firing up their first ever IndyCar engine while also giving their Exige R-GT Rally car its first shakedown runs – both of which occurred within 24 hours.
On December 22nd at Dallara’s headquarters in Varano Melegari, Palma, Lotus successfully started up the first official IndyCar engine while under the observance of Group Lotus Director of Motorsport Claudio Berro and his team’s technicians. Once they were satisfied with the overall results from the engine, the team began preparations to have the powerplant and car shipped to the United States where full testing will begin in January.
“The fire up in the car went really well, there were no nasty surprises and I think our partners are going to be very happy with the results. It was only October last year that we announced that we would become an IndyCar engine supplier and just 12 months on, we had an all new Lotus engine and three teams signed up – Bryan Herta Autosport, Dreyer and Reinbold Racing, and HVM Racing. We’ve still got a lot of work to do ahead of the start of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar season but so far I’m very encouraged by what I see”, said Claudio Berro.
Lotus also had their first shakedown runs in their Exige S R-GT Rally car in Turin with the team delighted with the results. Testing on the rally car will continue in the new year in preparations for the 2012 FIA World Rally Championship where the Exige will compete in the FIA GT category. It’s powered by a 3.5L, supercharged powerplant and looks to be a formidable race car in the series.