Written by Curt Cavin
Lotus is finally, officially, out of the IndyCar Series.
That news was made public today in a short news release issued by the Indianapolis-based series. Lotus presumably paid an exit fee, but there is no confirmation of that from the series or the manufacturer.
“We appreciate the effort that Lotus made in helping return manufacturer competition to the Izod IndyCar Series,” Brian Barnhart, president of operations and strategy, IndyCar said in the release. "However, Lotus has made a business decision not to return in 2013 and asked for its release. We wish them well and would welcome their participation again in the future."
This statement came from Aslam Farikullah, Lotus Chief Operating Officer: “Lotus is grateful to IndyCar for the opportunity to compete during the 2012 season and for the support provided throughout. The decision not to continue was not an easy one and Lotus does not discount the possibility to re-enter the series at some time in the future. For the time being, Lotus will focus on core business activities as a leading sports car manufacturer and world class engineering consultancy.”
The series will move forward with Chevrolet and Honda. Per series rules, both manufacturers must be able to supply 60 percent of the field.
Lotus started 2012 with four teams, but three negotiated their release before the Indianapolis 500 - Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, Bryan Herta Autosport and Dragon Racing. That left Lotus with just HVM Racing, the smallest team in the paddock.