Lotus and Cosworth team up for IndyCar racing return

What a fantastic year 2010 is proving to be for Lotus fans, in fact strike that, any motorsport enthusiast should be excited by the resurgance of the Lotus in Formula One but if there are any fans still doubting whether the Phoenix has really risen, then today’s news should do the trick. Lotus is back in IndyCar racing.

For those of you too young to remember the days when the Lotus name was as iconic as Ferrari, it all stems back to the unique partnership between founder Colin Chapman and the dominant driver of his era, Jim Clark. In 1963 Clark and Chapman secured their first Formula One World Championship in the Lotus 25, entering the Indianapolis 500 during the same year and finishing in second position – with Clark winning ‘Rookie of the Year’.

Jim Clark driving the Lotus Type 38 at the 1965 Indy 500 - Credit: IMS Photo

Clark made amends in 1965 when driving the Lotus Type 38 and recording the first win for a rear-engined car at the Indianapolis 500, in the same year as he won his second Formula One World Championship. No front-engined car has won the Indy 500 race since, which just shows how groundbreaking Lotus were as a motor racing manufacturer in the 1960s.

The Lotus Indy 500 Team at the victorious 1965 race - Credit: IMS Photo

Now in the same year that Lotus return to Formula One with Lotus Racing, they have announced a partnership with Cosworth Racing and 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 driven by former F1 driver Takuma Sato.

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 that they 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.